Gender, Homicide, and the Politics of Responsibility : Fatal Relationships book cover
1st Edition

Gender, Homicide, and the Politics of Responsibility
Fatal Relationships

ISBN 9780367647100
Published November 18, 2021 by Routledge
164 Pages

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Book Description

Gender, Homicide, and the Politics of Responsibility explores the competing and contradictory understandings of violence against women and men’s responsibility. It situates these within the personal and political intersections of neoliberal and ‘postfeminist’ imperatives of individualisation, choice, and empowerment.

As violence against women has become a national and international policy priority, feminist concerns about violence against women, and men’s responsibility, have entered the mainstream only to be articulated in politically contradictory ways. This book explores themes of responsibility for violence, and the social and legal consequences that men and women uniquely or differently encounter. By drawing on high-profile cases of homicide, an extensive literature on feminist perspectives on violence, and compelling focus group discussions, the book examines the politicised claims regarding the ‘responsibility’ of men and women as both victims and offenders in intimate relationships. Deploying a range of interdisciplinary approaches, it utilises a blend of cultural theory and psychosocial analysis to offer an account of the infiltration of postfeminist and neoliberal sensibilities of individualism and responsibilisation in the social, legal, and interpersonal imaginary. The book makes contributions to several fields, such as the current public policy initiatives to hold men accountable for violence against women; understanding public attitudes to violence against women; and contextualising the challenges faced by a number of feminist reforms that seek to address these issues.

An accessible and compelling read, Gender, Homicide, and the Politics of Responsibility will appeal to students and scholars of criminology, sociology, gender studies and those interested in understanding the debates surrounding violence against women, violence by women, and the social construction of responsibility and responsibilisation.

Table of Contents


  1. Feminism, Postfeminism and the Politics of Responsibility
  2. Lethal Relationships and Legal Ambiguities
  3. Beyond the Law: Analysing Postfeminism, Emotion, and Affect in Public Responses to Lethal Violence
  4. Debating Men’s Responsibility for Violence
  5. Women’s Victimisation and Violence – The Effects of Female Individualisation
  6. Postfeminism, men’s rights and responsibility



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Ashlee Gore is Lecturer in Criminology at Western Sydney University. Her overarching research priority is gendered violence with a focus on violence against women and the social, cultural, and legal constructions of responsibility.


'Ashlee Gore’s fascinating book brings together important theoretical themes and frameworks to provide a unique perspective on gender, intimate homicide/violence, and the politics of responsibility. Current prominent debates about postfeminism, the gendered nature of violence, and the gendering of responsibility are all addressed in an innovative way. The original theoretical approach is applied and extended through a nuanced, thought provoking analysis of focus groups examining everyday understandings of responsibility and gender-based violence through a psychosocial lens. The inclusion of the empirical material provides an accessible and engaging insight into the importance and social relevance of Gore’s arguments. This book offers a significant contribution at the intersection of a number of fields and is a key resource for scholars and students of criminology, socio-legal studies, and gender studies/feminism.' - Dr Ana Jordan, University of Lincoln, UK 


'This fascinating psychosocial analysis brings together psychoanalytic and cultural perspectives to understand homicide as gendered. A rich original study that delves into everyday accounts of blame and responsibility, showing how they are entangled with legal discourses, and shaped by assumptions that are both postfeminist and neoliberal. Will be of interest in law, criminology, and gender studies, as well as to those interested in discourse analysis and psychosocial scholarship.'

-Rosalind Gill, City, University of London