Culture, Domestic Violence and Intersectionality: Beyond the Dilemma of Cultural Relativism and Universalism

By Nafiseh Ghafournia.

Published by The International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: March 14, 2014 $US5.00

In immigrant-receiving countries, domestic violence is usually discussed in the broad context of gender inequality among immigrant communities. These debates focus mainly on culture turning between “cultural relativism” and “universalism”. The paper starts with the critical definition of culture. It explores two common perspectives in details. Each of these two views has been substantially criticized by the opposite side. The paper questions the binary interpretation of domestic violence as either cultural or patriarchal. By examining two perspectives, the paper will argue for the necessity of applying feminist intersectional theory to explore the link of domestic violence and culture. By taking the intersectional theory both structural factors and culture as contributing factors in violence against women will be addressed.

Keywords: Domestic Violence, Culture, Intersectionality, Universalism, Cultural Relativism

The International Journal of Critical Cultural Studies, Volume 11, Issue 2, March 2014, pp.23-32. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: March 14, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 320.626KB)).

Nafiseh Ghafournia

PhD Candidate, Faculty of Education and Social Work, University of Sydney, Newcastle, NSW, Australia

Ms. Ghafournia is a PhD candidate in Social Work at the University of Sydney. She has been researching and tutoring in the areas of women's studies, sociology, identity and has published papers on domestic violence and public policy as well as women's political participation in Iran.