A consumer-behavior perspective on intimate partner violence

Debra Lynn Stephens, Ronald Paul Hill, James W. Gentry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


This research examines women's experiences of and responses to intimate partner violence using the perspective of the extended self. From in-depth interviews with a demographically diverse group of women in the United States, the primary theme to emerge was that chronic abuse is experienced as the male partner's ongoing campaign to incorporate the abused woman into his extended self, by appropriating or destroying the aspects of her that give her autonomy. The most important implication for agencies serving abused women is that many of their clients are faced with the daunting task of repairing or reconstructing their core and extended selves, a process that may necessitate the long-term commitment of agency resources without the imposition of restricted, institutionally imposed identities that would serve only to impede clients' reclamation of their autonomy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-67
Number of pages32
JournalJournal of Contemporary Ethnography
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Consumption
  • Domestic violence
  • Extended self
  • Social services

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies


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