Représentations de la violence dans les relations amoureuses chez les adolescents chiliens

Authors: Sanhueza Morales, Tatiana Andrea
Advisor: Lessard, Geneviève
Abstract: This thesis examines the social representations of dating violence in Chilean teenagers. The participants, 142 Chileans teenagers from 14 to 18 years old, were recruited from public and private schools from three cities in the Province of Concepcion in Chile. A qualitative study used the theory of social representations and a multi-methodological approach. Two data collection methods – free association and focus groups – made data triangulation possible. A thematic analysis showed that the physical nature of dating violence was deeply entrenched in the study participants’ social representations, the figurative image being physical blows. Fear, jealousy, anger, quarrels, and the “distance from the object” constituted other latent dimensions which structured the semantic universe of these social representations which, through an analysis of the justification dimension, allowed us to reveal differences between genders and schools. The participants considered physical violence instigated by boys to be more serious and driven by machismo, whereas physical violence instigated by girls was perceived to come from cultural changes around women’s rights. Data analysis showed a certain heterogeneity in the participants’ positions, which shaped their social representations according to gender, social class, their experience with violence, and the generation to which they belong. This study shows that socio-cultural processes influence how the social representations of dating violence are developed and structured. Three cultural traits emerge from this research and highlight the importance of the constantly changing macro-social aspects that act as influencers of social representations: sexism, classism and generational differences. The study pointed to the invisibility of dating violence in Chilean public and health policies. This invisibility is explained by prevention policies which, among other things, see teenagers as children rather than as romantically mature subjects and the family as the only relevant place for intervention. Finally, the participants’ statements drew attention to requests for help and the barriers that kept them from blowing the whistle on violence in romantic relationships. Intervention suggestions were likewise made concerning prevention of dating violence. The findings also provide direction for the future of research on violence in adolescent dating relationships.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2017
Open Access Date: 24 April 2018
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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