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Hard Knocks: Domestic Violence and the Psychology of Storytelling Paperback – Jun 17 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge; 1 edition (June 17 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415563429
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415563420
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 1.5 x 23.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,111,946 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“The mid-20th century feminist movement was the catalyst for the most recent domestic violence reform efforts in the United States. In the forty years since then feminist advocates have shaped perceptions, policies, and laws. This book tells and analyzes their stories. While Haaken relies on a broad range of sources she structures the book primarily around conversations with domestic violence advocates in the United States and overseas to show how broader historical and cultural forces shape activists’ perceptions of domestic violence reform. The reader is treated to a wide-ranging and stimulating treatise on what would otherwise be yet another re-telling of policy changes and the successes and failures linked to their implementation. Using a multi-layered conceptual framework that enlists the social psychology of story telling, psychoanalysis, and several feminist perspectives, Haaken’s book lays bare themes of unity and strife in three distinct stories told by advocates – stories of captivity, stories of deliverance, and stories of struggle and reparation. … Hard Knocks: Domestic Violence and the Psychology of Storytelling is an enlightened and forward looking assessment of domestic violence reform. Students, practitioners, and social scientists with some familiarity of the topic will value the author’s insightful and timely analysis.” - Annette Jolin, Professor Emerita, Criminology and Criminal Justice, Portland State University, USA, in Criminal Justice Review

"Haaken’s material is rich and unusual, and her analyses of how group dynamics in the battered women’s movement are intertwined with diverse story-telling practices are fascinating. The international comparisons raise further food for thought. ... The book would be a useful resource for teaching students about the historical context of activism against domestic violence, and in particular for illustrating how particular forms of story-telling become possible within specific historical contexts and how story-telling about the ‘same issue’ (domestic violence) may therefore differ between different countries and over time." - Renate Klein in Sex Roles

"The book is a rich and authoritative resource about both the history and current status of the feminist antiviolence movement. It will be a good text book in women’s studies programs." - Paul T.P. Wong in PsycCRITIQUES

"Haaken’s penetrating historical critique of the domestic violence movement comes as a welcome breath of fresh air – opening up new avenues for reinvigorated feminist analysis and activism. ... [Haaken’s] analytical ability to hold complexity within one analytical frame provides feminist psychologists with an exemplary case study of the types of dialectical thought and action that need to be promoted. This book serves as a much-needed roadmap of the contours of new and more transformative approaches to domestic violence." - Catherine Campbell, London School of Economics, in The Community Psychologist

"In an accessible, direct and compelling manner, this impressively scholarly text surveys the full array of recent debates tackling the complexities of gender and violence. Janice Haaken’s voice has become pivotal in the rethinking of domestic violence literature and research, ensuring that this book will become an essential text across the social sciences in all areas where gender is discussed." - Lynne Segal, Psychosocial Studies, Birkbeck College, University of London, UK 

"This book is pioneering and courageous, employing psychoanalytic concepts to subvert those aspects of (white) feminist activist orthodoxy on domestic violence. The power of storytelling in shaping and transforming women’s lives is evoked with reparative narratives which are explored to exhilarating effect." - Paula Nicolson, Professor of Critical Social Health Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK

"Janice Haaken―feminist researcher, clinician, and activist―grips us with her analysis of the stories we tell ourselves about family violence. Whether probing the complexities of victim narratives or examining the different ways feminists and activists narrate domestic violence, Haaken is a pioneer in extending psychoanalytic-feminist theory into the tough terrain of anti-violence politics. Essential reading for activists and gender studies theorists alike." - Lynne Layton, Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychology, Harvard Medical School, USA 

About the Author

Janice Haaken is a Professor of Psychology at Portland State University. She is also a clinical and community psychologist, documentary filmmaker and social justice activist. An interdisciplinary scholar, Haaken has published extensively in the areas of psychoanalysis and feminism, gender and the history of psychiatric diagnosis, group responses to violence and trauma, and the psychology of storytelling.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa0195fc0) out of 5 stars 1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0198ca8) out of 5 stars exemplary community praxis Feb. 20 2014
By Dr Derek W Hook - Published on
Format: Paperback
Jan Haaken has achieved a remarkable degree of synthesis in Hard Knocks, her impressive account of domestic violence and the methodology of feminist storytelling developments. The book brings together fieldwork conducted over 8 years and expresses in a very elegant manner the current status of the field in the psychology of domestic violence. Her ability to draw together different styles of scholarly engagement is a marker of both quality and sophistication. Rather than allying herself with one theoretical language, with a single ‘tool-box’ of analysis, Haaken combines and overlays a series of (often disparate) intellectual traditions: social psychology, empirical feminist research, techniques of literary criticism, and psychoanalytic critique are blended in a genuinely critical manner. Haaken’s style also is immediate and readable.

What however stuck most strongly with me was Haaken’s lifelong dedication to storytelling as political praxis – something the book brings to life with incredible vigour and colour – and the fact of Haaken’s own storytelling ability, which is itself an incisive vehicle of transformation.

-Derek Hook, Reader, Psychosocial Studies