Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Social Work


Sociology, Criminology and Penology.


Dietz, M. L.




This research, from a feminist constructionist perspective, attempts to deconstruct society's view of the male batterer as normal from legal documents such as police and probation reports, court transcripts, psychological reports and women's own accounts. This latter data was collected by the Michigan Battered Women's Clemency Project for women in Michigan prisons who are sentenced to lengthy incarceration for committing violent crimes related to the battering situation. This study goes against the existing literature available on men's violence against women and explains men's violence in terms of power and control on a structural and individual level. The existing research available on wife battering is critically examined with reference to the fact that the victim of wife abuse is labeled as 'crazy' and the perpetrator as 'normal'. Both society and the criminal justice system have normalized the behaviour of men who are violent towards women. The conclusion is made that although the women, other people, and the criminal justice system view the male batterer as 'normal', it is the women who are normal and the male batterer who exhibits behavioural patterns that would reasonably be associated with abnormality. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 34-06, page: 2252. Adviser: Mary Lou Dietz. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1995.