Narrating love and abuse in intimate relationships

Fraser, H 2003, 'Narrating love and abuse in intimate relationships', British Journal of Social Work, vol. 33, no. 3, pp. 273-290.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Narrating love and abuse in intimate relationships
Author(s) Fraser, H
Year 2003
Journal name British Journal of Social Work
Volume number 33
Issue number 3
Start page 273
End page 290
Total pages 18
Publisher Oxford University Press
Abstract In this article, I use discourse analysis to explore the relationship between love and abuse. I argue that Anglo-American social work has been reticent to theorize love; and that when it does, the borders separating love from abuse are usually assumed to be relatively stable and readily apparent. After nominating some of the reasons for and repercussions of dichotomizing love and abuse, I suggest that knowledge about intimate abuse will expand if more attention is given to the study of love. I promote the use of feminist discourses because they provide valuable insights about the operations of power in love relationships. Drawing ideas from both structural feminism and post-structural feminism, I encourage social workers to move their analytical attention back and forth between the micro-politics of intimate relationships to the wider cultural contexts within which they are staged. I conclude with the assertion that social workers will be better placed to understand the dilemmas that many 'ordinary' women confront in their everyday lives, if they critically analyse the intersections of love and abuse.
DOI - identifier 10.1093/bjsw/33.3.273
ISSN 0045-3102
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