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By Turpin, Kurtz

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Men who beat their spouses were also usually exempt from criminal prosecution. In fact, under the earlier British common law imported during the 1700’s into many North American colonies, the husband had a legal right to ‘‘physically chastise’’ his wife, since her body and her services were his legal property. ’’ The recent research dedicated to explaining family violence reflects major changes in cultural values and beliefs and in the structure of social institutions, including the family. Much of the impetus for the study of violence against women has come from organized action by women, particularly during the United Nations Decade for Women (1975–1985) and through subse- quent national and international meetings such as the 1993 United Nations World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna and the 1995 United Nations Conference of Women in Beijing.

In order that you, the reader, will derive maximum benefit from your use of the Encyclopedia, we have provided this Guide. It explains how the work is organized and how the information within it can be located. ’’ TABLE OF CONTENTS A complete alphabetical table of contents for the Encyclopedia appears at the front of each volume of the set, beginning on page v of the Introduction. This list includes not only the articles that appear in that particular volume but also those in the other two volumes.

Some perceive conflict as a broader phenomenon that encompasses the other two: one can engage in either violent or peaceful conflict. Others perceive peace as something that reflects the absence of conflict. These conflicting definitions reflect salient domain assumptions and produce different theories and policies regarding how to manage the conflicts that seem to be an inevitable part of social life. Similarly, violence is defined in several markedly different ways. Whereas some contend that the term should refer only to the deliberate infliction of physical harm, others insist that psychological harm must be included as well.

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