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Masculinities, Violence and Self-defence in Swedish Supreme Court Cases
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå Forum for Studies on Law and Society.
2014 (English)In: Kritische Vierteljahresschrift für Gesetzgebung und Rechtswissenschaft (KritV), ISSN 0179-2830, Vol. 97, no 3, 312-327 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article concerns the interaction between masculinity norms expressed in case-law from the Swedish Supreme Court and the legal construction of the right to self-defence in Swedish criminal law and how this interaction contributes to the normalisation of men’s violent acts. A discourse analysis is done on the four cases of the last twenty years from the Supreme Court that deals specifically with the right to self-defence in a man-to-man violence context. The theoretical starting points are firstly that masculinities are relational, diverse and hierarchical and that gender is a way of ordering social practices. Secondly, that violence is a way of doing or achieving masculinity although masculinities relate to violence in different ways. As the legislation on violent crimes in most cases is applied on men’s violent acts, the relationship between masculinities and violence is of great importance when discussing violence and law.

The findings of the analysis are that there is room for gender norms and ideals to have an impact on decisions in the criminal justice system while at the same time criminal law and the criminal justice system have an impact on gender norms. Through this interaction criminal law and the application of it contributes to the normalisation of men’s violent acts.  The importance of looking at how gender intersects with other structures of power is stressed as well as looking at violence and law in their contexts. The conclusion is that analysing the relations between masculinities, violence and law reveals law’s open-endedness. While this open-endedness brings with it uncertainty and unpredictability it also makes law an arena for struggle and change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft, 2014. Vol. 97, no 3, 312-327 p.
Keyword [en]
Masculinities, Violence, Criminal law
National Category
Law and Society
Research subject
straffrätt
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-96173DOI: 10.5771/2193-7869-2014-3-312OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-96173DiVA: diva2:771218
Available from: 2014-12-12 Created: 2014-11-11 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved

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Eriksson, Susanna

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CiteExportLink to record
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  • apa
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