UM E-Theses Collection (澳門大學電子學位論文庫)


Love or kill : intimate partner mass murder in the 21st-century China

English Abstract

In this research, intimate partner mass murder (IPMM) refers to the murder cases related to intimate partner relationship in either way of direct or indirect motivation of more than one victim. Compared with former intimate partner violence researches which focus more on the psychological characteristics of the offender and victim without differentiating the cases by the typology of the violence and the numbers of the victims, this paper specifically discusses cultural and social factors behind the multi-victim murder cases among all kinds of intimate partner violence cases within China. Among 154 cases we collected from the official newspapers and websites of mainland China from 2010 to 2011, 95% offenders of the cases are male; including cases of the male killing the former intimate partners, their current intimate partners, children, parents, other relatives or friends. By using NVivo, we summarize the motivations of the IPMM cases including jealousy, hatred, revenge and economic problems related to the unique Chinese marriage tradition of the betrothal gifts. Also, most of the IPMM cases happened during the separation period after the victim left the battered partner. We also explore of IPMM and uxorilocal marriage, a unique Chinese marriage of the male depending on and living with the female’s family. This paper mainly discusses the relationship between the contradicting and complex socio-cultural structure of the changing society of 21st-century China and the incidents of IPMM.

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Ma, Tian


Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities


Department of Sociology




Family violence -- Psychological aspects

Intimate partner violence -- Psychological aspects


Li, De

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