Women's narratives of economic abuse and financial strategies in Britain and South Asia

CHOWBEY, Punita (2017). Women's narratives of economic abuse and financial strategies in Britain and South Asia. Psychology of Violence, 7 (3), 459-468.

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Objectives: The objectives of the paper are to (a) extend current conceptualizations of economic abuse by incorporating diverse perspectives from South-Asian women in Britain, India, and Pakistan and (b) present a typology of financial strategies used by the women to deal with economic abuse. Method: Using a constructivist grounded theory approach, 84 married women with dependent children from South-Asian backgrounds were recruited through community networks in Britain (Pakistani Muslims n = 23; Gujarati Hindus n = 12), India (Gujarati Hindus n = 26), and Pakistan (Pakistani Muslims, n = 23) for in-depth interviews. Results: The women’s accounts included 4 kinds of economic abuse recognized in current literature, (a) preventing the acquisition of economic resources, (b) preventing the use of resources, (c) refusing to contribute, and (d) exploiting women’s resources and/or generating economic costs, as well as 2 unique abuses, (e) exploiting women’s customary marriage gifts including jahez/dahej, haq meher, bari, and streedhan, and (f) jeopardizing women’s long-term finances (e.g., through transnational investments). In addition, the results illuminate 4 financial strategies used by the women that have not previously been identified in the literature. These can be typified as (a) material, (b) confrontational, (c) mediational, and (d) developmental. Conclusions: This paper contributes new understandings on the globally pervasive but understudied phenomenon of economic abuse by including the perspectives of South-Asian women living in Britain and in South Asia. It challenges notions that South-Asian women are submissive or victims by highlighting the financial strategies they used in agentic resistance to economic abuse.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Centre for Health and Social Care Research
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1037/vio0000110
Page Range: 459-468
Depositing User: Jill Hazard
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2017 16:26
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 01:03
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/15232

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