Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Social Work


Sociology, Social Structure and Development.


Yican, Suzan,




The medicalization of the battered woman in Ontario began a decade ago. As a result, victims of domestic violence have been constructed as psychologically 'ill'. Socialist feminist issues and concerns about the battered woman have been disqualified by the therapeutic community of experts who claim expertise on the issue of wife battery. The way in which a therapeutic framework shapes and defines mass media constructions of the battered woman are an underlying theme. Specific reference is made to popular magazine and newspaper articles between 1974 and 1996. The concepts of public consciousness, power, and discourse are analyzed in order to understand the change in meaning surrounding the battered woman within the last two decades. Informed by socialist feminism, the concern is with understanding how victims of violence lost their position as experts on wife battery to those within the 'psy' professions. As a socio-historical study, this thesis attempts to answer why and how the meaning of the battered woman changed between 1974 and 1996 in Ontario. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 39-02, page: 0420. Adviser: Suzan Yican. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1998.