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Understanding socio-legal impact on law-making : a study on the legislation of the domestic violence act in Macau

English Abstract

This research explores how culture and conflict shape the law-making process and outcomes concerning domestic violence in Macau using analysis of in-depth interviews and documentary data. Dicey and Gramsci’s general theory of social change (Macaulay, Friedman & Mertz, 2007, p. 186 - 194) is applied to this research. Traditional Chinese values emphasize the maintenance of family harmony, but they also risk exacerbating domestic violence and the tolerance of violence. Under the influence of such values, some people in Macau object to list domestic violence offences as public crimes. While most Western countries emphasize human rights in regard to this kind of violence, such categorization may not be applicable in Macau—thus evidencing the cultural impact on social change. Moreover, conflicts surrounding this legislation are also influential elements in social change: On the one hand, family conflict originates from power struggles among family members. The requirement of gender equality threatens a man’s superior position inside the family, and such struggle leads to the divergent law-making process in this legislation. On the other hand, political conflict also influences this legislation. Some people raise their own political demands which are unrelated to this legislation.

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Lei, Cheng Teng


Faculty of Social Sciences


Department of Sociology




Family violence -- Law and legislation -- Macau

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