ABOUT THIS BOOK
This vitally important volume places the problem of wife beating in a broad cultural context in a search for strategies to reform societies, including our own, that are prone to this pernicious form of violence. Based on first hand ethnographic data on more than a dozen societies, including a number in Oceania, this collection explores the social and cultural factors that work either to inhibit or to promote domestic violence against women. The volume also includes a study of abuse among nonhuman primates and a cross-cultural analysis of the legal aspects of wife beating. By presenting counterexamples from other cultures, contributors challenge Western assumptions about the factors leading to wife beating. Through a close examination of societies where wife beating is infrequent or absent, To Have and To Hit identifies the factors—economic, social, political, and cultural—that must be explored and transformed in order to combat this violence and eventually eliminate it.