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Family Violence In Cross-cultural Perspective

D. Levinson
Published 1989 · Psychology

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The purpose of this chapter is to review and discuss the contributions cross-cultural studies have made or might make to our understanding of family violence. To cover as much territory as possible I have defined cross-cultural studies broadly to include any information collection and analysis approach that involves either the implicit or explicit comparison of two or more cultural groups. Cultural group is defined broadly as well, to include nations, political subdivisions within nations, ethnic groups, small-scale (primitive, nonliterate) societies, peasant societies, and so on. Following the work of Gelles and Straus (1979) family violence is defined as the action of a family member that will very likely cause physical pain to another family member. The term beating, such as wife beating or husband beating, is used throughout the chapter to refer to any violent act ranging from a slap to a beating with a stick to murder with a handgun.
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