Essay On Global Deviance
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Domestic violence often involves any incident of threatening behavior, abuse or violence be it psychological, financial, emotional or sexual that occurs between adults who are or have been in the past been intimate partners and family members. It comes regardless of the gender or the sexuality. Whatever form it takes, it is critical to understand that domestic violence is a rarely a one off incident and in many cases it should instead be seen as a pattern of abusive as well as controlling behavior through which the abuser can be able to seek power over the victim. In most instances, the abuse can begin at any time. Domestic abuse often occurs across society, gender, race, sexuality, geography and age.
Domestic violence can further be described as the willing intimidation, sexual assault, and physical assault as a part of a larger systematic pattern of power as well as control that is often perpetrated by one intimate partner against another. It is critical to recognize that the frequency as well as the severity of domestic violence can often vary dramatically, however, there is one constant component; there is an effort to maintain control and power over the supposedly weak partner. It is not easy to determine in the early stages of one’s relationship whether indeed one will become abuse (Human Rights Watch, 1999).
The intensity of domestic violence often intensified with time. Therefore, the abusers might at first seem perfect and wonderful, however, with time they often become more controlling and aggressive as the relationship continues. The abuse may at times begin with several behaviors that are easily downplayed or dismissed such as distrust, name –calling as well as threats.
Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence; there are often no typical victims. The domestic violence can come from different and diverse walks of life. This includes varying age groups, different communities, all educational levels, and lifestyles. However, domestic violence is a deviant behavior and its acceptability differs amongst different cultures. There are cultures that are more accommodating of domestic violence whereas others are not. This paper is going to explore the deviant behavior that is domestic violence in the Australia and in Pakistan.
In the Australia, domestic violence is considered deviant behavior, while in Pakistan it is a common place without too many repercussions. In fact, most of the reported cases of domestic violence in Pakistan do not involve jail term but rather a warning from the police. This is unlike the Australia where domestic violence has extreme legal repercussions.
Deviant behavior can be described as behavior that is a recognized violation of social norms. It is critical to recognize that formal as well as formal social controls often attempt to prevent as well as minimize deviance. Domestic violence is not considered a crime in Pakistan. For this reason, domestic violence has grown and in fact research has shown that an estimated 50% t0 70% of women in Pakistan have suffered from some of abuse (Human Rights Watch, 1999) The law enforcement authorities in the country do not view domestic violence as a crime and they therefore, refused to register any cases that are brought to them.
Domestic violence does not look the same in each and every relationship and this is because every relationship is different. It is critical and important to understand that one of the things that exists in abusive relationship is that one of the persons has more power as well as control their partners.
Australia and Domestic Violence
The Australian government takes domestic violence seriously, in fact, there are several Violence against women acts that have been passed by the Australian Congress in order to try and stem the tide of domestic violence. It is critical to realize that the Australian government has been taking stricter measures in order to ensure that domestic violence cases decrease. The criminalization of domestic violence is one of the factors that have been pivotal in ensuring that indeed there is a change when it comes to this deviant behavior in the Australia.
Religion’s role in domestic violence in Pakistan
Religion plays an important role in the perpetuation of domestic violence in Pakistan. The first reason is that there is blind faith in Islam as well as lack of proper education when it comes to the different teachings of the religion. It is important to understand that Islam and the Quran discourage domestic violence; in fact, there are numerous hadiths that demonstrate this point clearly. However, it is critical to recognize that there is a single verse of the Quran which has often been interpreted and has encouraged Muslim men to hit their women.
The verse no. 4:34 states that men are the guardians of women and this is because God has been able to favor the more. For the women that have ill-will as well as have nasty conduct, the husbands are told to leave them and beat or separate them. This verse is often interpreted differently by different persons (Human Rights Watch, 1999).
It is important to understand that Pakistan population has a lot of uneducated persons. Therefore, to an educated man, it will seem unlikely that indeed the translation hit will make sense given the different numerous stories where domestic violence is discouraged. However, when it comes to an uneducated base man that is looking for a credible reason to beat up his wife, the verse is an excuse to hit the woman and further get away with it.
Culture and domestic violence in Pakistan
The issue of patriarchalism in the Muslim society has also been instrumental when it comes to domestic violence in the country. This is because there is marginalization of the women’s role, In fact, in traditional societies in Pakistan, it was considered normal for a man to physically beat up his spouse and instill discipline in them (Hassan, 1995). Women in Pakistan are seen as the property of men and this sets the stage for what can be described as culturally sanctioned violence (Hassan, 1995).
There are different cultural factors that are backward and they encourage domestic violence. One such issue is dowry deaths. Dowry deaths have been recently described by the United Nations as being a part of domestic violence. In dowry death, women are often attacked and eventually murdered by their in-laws that often deem their dowry as being insufficient. In Pakistan, there is the issue of bride burnings commonly referred to as stove deaths (Hassan, 1995).
The society generally does not see this as a big issue. It is imperative to recognize that in the year 1976, the Pakistani government tried to pass a legislation regarding bridal gifts and dowry in order to decrease the murders but because of societal as well as cultural norms which were combined with the ineffectiveness of the government, the killings regarding dowries still continue. The religious right in Pakistan has always been adamant against laws that try to reduce domestic violence arguing that some of the legislations go against the Quran (Hassan, 1995).
A significant portion of women in Pakistani society can be seen to be culturally submissive. This is despite of recent urbanization. The social norms that exist in the country remain intact, and in fact well-educated women still possess marginal status. In Pakistan, women cannot inherit property even when they are the remaining heirs. Therefore, it can be argued that women are trapped within a rigid pecking order where the will of men is to be respected irrespective of their rationality (Cooper pg. 15). This therefore, makes the women vulnerable to manipulation of domestic violence. Further, it is of essence to understand that broken homes lead to the vulnerability of children being led to domestic violence.
Australian economic and legal framework against Domestic violence
The Australian government is firm against violence against women and in fact, there are several laws that are in place in order to protect women. Domestic violence in Australia is considered as deviant behavior and it is widely discouraged. The victims of domestic violence in Australia are often several legal remedies. The first is criminal law which includes the obtaining of a protection order. The perpetrators of domestic violence are often treated as criminals, and they are consequently subject to criminal prosecution under battery and assault laws (Wilson, 2009).
It is important to note that each jurisdiction and agency in Australia often has its own standard operating procedures regarding how to deal and handle domestic calls. It is generally accepted that if the victim has visible as well as recent marks that show abuse, the suspect is arrested on the spot and the police charge him or her with the appropriate crime.
It is however, critical to recognize that this is often a guideline and it is not a rule. This is because domestic violence can be described as a gray area and many law enforcement officers often have to look and examine different factors before they make what can be said to be a warrantless arrest (Wilson, 2009).
Cultural factors in Australia and Domestic Violence
Australia in the 20th century has set a culture of respecting women and their rights. In this regards, there are several local government in Australia that have declared that freedom from domestic violence can be said to be a fundamental human right and they further resolve that indeed the local and state governments should be able to secure this human right on behalf of all their citizens and they should ensure that is incorporated into practices and policies in the State.
Australia has evolved over the years with different women human rights groups cropping up. Most at times, the cases of domestic violence involve women. These groups have been fundamental in ensuring that the government passes different laws in order to ensure that women in marriages and relationships are protected.
Religion in Australia and Domestic Violence
One contributing factor that has seen reduction of domestic violence in Australia and made it to be seen as increased deviant behavior is training. In the past, most Christian seminaries were not educated in regards to how they should manage violence against women in the case of domestic violence.
However, this has changed over the years as pastors have began receiving training and most of them have announced participation in what can be described as domestic violence educational programs. Most women often turn to the Church after domestic violence abuse and therefore, the pastors have been integral in ensuring that the problem is solved in a logical and conclusive manner.
Therefore, there can be seen to be a huge disparity between Australia and Pakistan in regards to domestic violence. In Australia, domestic violence is seen as a deviant behavior that is punishable by the law. However, this is not the case in the Pakistan, where domestic violence is seen a cultural norm that is practiced by most families-mostly those living in rural areas. There is a difference that exists in the cultural norms between the two countries and this might be one of the reasons as to why the levels and perceptions of the domestic violence in the two countries have a large difference
Symbolic Interaction Perspective
The symbolic interaction perspective commonly referred to as symbolic Interactionism is a major framework in the overall sociological theory. The perspective can be said to rely on the symbolic meaning that people often develop as well as rely upon different process of social interaction. It is critical to recognize that the concept of self is central to symbolic Interactionism. The self can be said to develop through communication with other persons on a symbolic level via the ability of one seeing one’s self from the standpoint of another person (Gerdes, 2012).
People are often sensitive to one another and they ask for support in order to support their self concept, a person can be able to see him or herself through the glass of another. This is the reason as to why perceived appraisals by other people often influence individual identity as well as self-esteem (Gerdes, 2012).
According to the symbolic Interactionism theory, individuals often use different symbols from others in order to construct the meaning of a social situation and consequently determine the appropriate course of action. In fact, domestic violence according to the symbolic Interactionism often occurs after there is a lack of consensus or clarity in the definition of a situation (Thio, 2013).
Therefore, because an individual behaviors and acts reflect socially constructed meanings, the behavior of the individual can therefore, be only understood in reference to different and diverse larger social units. The society interpretation of a situation therefore is important. In the case of Pakistan, the society looks at the domestic violence situation very differently, and there is a ready acceptance of the situation. This is different as compared to Australia where the situation is seen differently because of different socially constructed meaning.
In most instances the loss of social identities can be said to be typical for a victim of domestic violence, this is because the other partner tries as hard as possible to control the partner’s behavior and they try to isolate her. When domestic violence is accompanied by verbal abuse, the victim’s sense of self is eroded by criticism.
For example, in Pakistan, the lack of social supports for the battered woman often means that she becomes more dependent upon her spouses in a bid to validate her sense of self as well as define their relationship. This is the reason as to why battered women most at times report a stage of what can be described as emotional numbness and they might exhibit robot like behavior that grows out of confusion.
According to the symbolic Interactionism theory, this can be described as the loss of observing self. It can be said to be a suspension of critical judgments and internal contradictions that exist in the situation that might not make sense to the victim of domestic violence at the time. Therefore, women that are in domestic violence relationships often tend to remain in the battering relationships, because they have a sense of self that is weak and their definition of the domestic violence situation is unclear.
This is especially true in areas such as Pakistan where there has been a long tradition of a patriarchal society where men have been able to ‘discipline’ women when they wronged. Further, the fact that is misinterpreted by some makes the situation in the perceptions of women difficult.
The symbolic Interactionism theory states that the society often affects an individual’s behavior through several constraints which in most cases are posed by different and diverse principles and societal norms. The theory holds that all individuals live in a symbolic society as well as a physical world. People in different areas of the world have different interpretations for different symbols (Gondolf, 2009).
In order to further understand human conduct, there is a need to understand the roles of symbols in behavior. In the case of domestic violence, the two partners in a relationship do not understand each other symbols, therefore, there is no mutual understanding regarding several issues and how they see a ‘situation’. This is what leads to domestic violence.
The conflict theory argues that the society is always in a state of eternal conflict where there is competition of the existing scarce resourcing. According to the conflict theory, the individuals in the society that possess wealth often attempt to increase their riches and this is in many cases done at the affliction of individuals who do not possess wealth. The conflict theory can be used effectively when it comes to explaining the concept of domestic violence.
The conflict theory often holds that the society is in a condition of what can be described as constant conflict. Marriage on the other hand is a social institution which contains a variety of different sources that are not equally distributed. Some of the resources in the social institution include repute, money, talent and even emotional security. When one partner lacks the resources, there is often a sense of inferiority complex that creeps in and this aggravates the conflict.
When the conflict arises, in many cases it results into abusive behavior that causes domestic violence. In regards to emotional security, one might feel that the other problem is doing something that they believe should not be done and they do not have a feel of regret. Therefore, in most instances in order to compensate for the wounded ego of a person, the hurt partner often normally resorts to domestic violence (Culliton, 1994).
In regards to the functionalist theory, the society can be described as being in a continuous state of balance and its balance is maintained through different on-goings of the components parts relating to the society. In regards to the functionalist theory, men are often supposed to hold the dominant and instrumental positions in the society whereas women are known to occupy small repressed roles. When there is lack of a continuous balance in that men do not hold the positions and they feel like they are the ones in the small repressed roles, they resort to domestic violence.
The functionalist view states that the government is supposed to provide basic schooling for different children in the nuclear family and in the general society at large. Therefore, each institution needs to play a role in ensuring that the society is smoothly running. There is dependence on each institution to play their role. For example, the family often depends on the school institution to assist children to grow in an upright manner and afterwards have good professions in order for them to support the state.
Therefore, the functionalist theory argues that domestic violence often arises when the government as well as learning institutions fail to play their roles (Culliton, 1994). The school fails in offering education and the children therefore, fail to understand the morals of the family. There is a need for all institutions to be at peace in order to reduce domestic violence which is a deviant behavior.
In conclusion, the symbolic Interactionism theory bests explain domestic violence in a national as well as international scale. This is because it gives perspectives on how similar situations are interpreted differently in different societies. Further, because the individuals are part of the larger social fabric there is often a tendency to look at the situation differently. The difference in understanding the same symbol leads to conflict that eventually leads to domestic violence.
I agree with the Australian Perspective that there is a need to tackle domestic violence by instituting legal measures. Domestic violence is a behavior that needs to be kicked out of the world, and I support the Australian approach towards this sensitive issue.
Culliton, K. M. (1994). Legal remedies for domestic violence in Chile and the Australia: Cultural relativism, myths and realities. Case Western Reserve Journal of International Law, 26, 183-260.
Gondolf, E. W. (2009). A Sociological Overview of the Domestic Violence Field in the Australia. Family Violence in India : Human Rights, Issues, Actions and International Comparisons, 347-365
Gerdes, L. I. (2012). Domestic violence. Detroit: Greenhaven Press.
Thio, Alex (2013). Deviant Behavior, 11th Ed. Boston: Pearson
Wilson, M. (2009). Domestic violence. Detroit: Greenhaven Press.
Hassan, Y. (1995). The haven becomes hell: A study of domestic violence in Pakistan. Lahore Cantt, Pakistan: Shirkat Gah, WLUML Coordination Office Asia.
Human Rights Watch (Organization). (1999). Crime or custom?: Violence against women in Pakistan. New York: Human Rights Watch.