The significance of gender in the application of the Care of Abusers (special provision) Act: a critical discourse analysis of the Swedish County Administrative Courts cases

University essay from Lunds universitet/R├Ąttssociologiska institutionen

Abstract: The purpose of this thesis is to analytically examine and investigate if male and female have no meaning with regards to the County Administrative Courts descriptions and assessments in cases regarding the Care of Abusers (special provision) Act (LVM). It is to investigate if notions of gender are expressed in these LVM-cases, and if so, how are they expressed and how can we understand these expressions. Furthermore, the significance of gender in the practical application of LVM has been highlighted through the lenses of social constructivism, gender theory, and hegemonic masculinity. In order to study the role of gender in the legal application process, I applied a socio-legal approach which means that other factors than the purely legal will have impact on these descriptions and assessments from the County Administrative Courts. The use of Faircloughs three-dimensional critical discourse analysis is the foundation of this research which enabled the investigation to analyze different themes founded in the LVM-cases on three levels; the text-level, the discursive practice, and the social practice. The interpretations of the themes, specifically in the analysis of the discursive practice, and the social practice, has been linked to the chosen theories as well as previous research. The conclusion, based on the empirical material, indicates that the County Administrative Courts description and assessments differ depending on if the abuser is a man or a woman. In a concluding remark it seems that the County Administrative Courts, as part of the society, are affected by the prevailing perceptions and notions of male and female.

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