Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Social Work


Sociology, Criminology and Penology.




This research explores violent crimes by women utilizing an interactionist and feminist framework. Detailed interviews were conducted with women serving time for offenses of violence at Huron Valley Women's Facility; a maximum security penitentiary located in Ypsilanti, Michigan. In accordance with other interactionist research on violence, emphasis is on situational definitions and the impact of self concept on the development of violent interactions. This thesis attempts to move beyond the predominant theoretical models developed in this area by researchers such as Athens (1977; 1980), Dietz (1983), Felson (1978), Felson and Steadman (1983), and Luckenbill (1977) by stressing that the concept of power, both in a global and individual sense, is paramount to understanding violence by women. Existing research on female criminality is critically discussed with reference to the sexist etiological views perpetuated in a male dominated society. The conclusion is made that interpersonal violence, specifically violence by women, cannot be understood except with reference to a sociology which is fully cognizant of the pivotal position of gender in society.Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1990 .H868. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 30-03, page: 0569. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1990.