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Theoretical Perspectives on Domestic Violence during Covid-19 Pandemic

Structural Functionalism

Theoretical perspective number 1: Structural Functionalism

Structural Functionalism views the society in a cohesion, and believes that each section of a community works in harmony with each other. The different section and people in a society are assigned a particular role, which they have to accomplish in order to keep a balance in the society. The equilibrium in the society has to be maintained so as to organize and secure a stable society.  Thus, this theoretical perspective achieves order and stability in the society, and keep all the other parts united so as to function smoothly. (Kingsbury & Scanzoni, 2009) As per this theoretical perspective, men and women are assigned their respective roles in the society. While men are more concerned about the outside task, women are more involved in the house chores and childrearing. However, in the 21st century, the role has got reversed in many households, as woman have started going outside to achieve their professional aspirations. A functionalist will view domestic violence, when there is an ambiguity in the roles assigned to men and women in the household. Covid-19 has disrupted the normal life of a being, and people have to stay at home and do their office work. The work from home concept has got popular during the pandemic as people were refrained from going outside. Since men and women both are at home, there is a confusion regarding women should be performing the larger duties at home or men. The ambiguity and confusion led to the conflict within couples, and violence against women have increased, as the basic roles of women is to handle the home chores. 
Theoretical perspective number 2: Symbolic Interactionism

Symbolic Interactionism suggests that the society is based on the symbolic interaction conducted by the people living in it. The people built their world according to the interaction of social agents and the social exchange performed by them when they communicate with each other. The meaning to things in life are drawn from the meaningful interactions carried on in life, and they analyse life based on the way they describe themselves as well others. (Denzin, 2016) As per this theory, domestic violence occurs when the couple fails to understand each other’s symbols and does not have meaningful conversations. The theory is pervasive while making meaning out of personal interactions and understand each other while being in a close relation. The theory is also crucial in improving the relations between people. However, the covid19 pandemic has led to unfavourable situations in households as people income had diminished due to loss of job. The added stress due to not being able to go out and earn a decent living has led to violence between intimate partners. As per symbolic interactionism theory, in marriages and intimate relationships, it is crucial to share symbols and same meanings out of life. The covid19 lockdown has led to increased expectations from the partners, and when the same is not fulfilled or understood, fight occurs between partners. Further, the added stress of lower income has also led to the violence between couples. Men and women are both responsible for the household chores and raising the children. The stress in pandemic has led to men being frustrated in life and the frustrations coming out on their children and partners in the house. (Bradbury?Jones & Isham, 2020)
Theoretical perspective number 3: Conflict theory

The conflict theory emphasizes on the unequal wealth distribution in the society and the resulting social strata prevalent. The conflict theory stresses on the adverse, contrasted and dynamic nature of the society. These aspects lead to conflict between the various groups in the society. It suggests that there are varied group existing which has unequal authority and power, and they continuously make an effort to maximises their resources. By maximizing their power, the group is able to benefit. In a marriage, men and women are assigned their respective roles and duties. (Collins & Sanderson, 2015) Men regard themselves as superior to their female partners, and strives to increase their control over them. Women, on the other hand, have been trying to achieve their liberation and economic independence. (Dutton & Nicholls, 2005)

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the men have lost their jobs and source of income. The loss of job has led to both men and women sharing their house duties. As both men and women strive to achieve their respective authority over the other, the domestic violence sees a rise in the marriages. Further, in case the woman is employed while the man in unemployed, the conflict tends to increase. Additionally, the economic independence of women tends to work in their favour as they have an upper hand in the marriage for bringing additional income to the family. However, in case the woman is unemployed the chances of violence being inflicted on them increases. Being unemployed means they are dependent on their male partner, while being confined in their homes during the coronavirus lockdown and no contact with the outside world, making them vulnerable to domestic violence (Schneider et al., 2016).

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