Wife-Beating in Malawi: Examining the Role of Global and Local Institutions in Cultural Change

Jeffrey Swindle, University of Michigan

Global cultural models are spreading worldwide, influencing the institutions of nation-states, businesses, and organizations. Local cultural models, however, play critical roles in how culture is enacted on the on-the-ground by individual people. This study approaches the question of the global-local nexus by looking specifically at the issue of intimate partner violence. I examine the influence of global and local cultural factors on Malawians’ stated attitudes toward and reports of intimate partner violence between 2000 and 2010. I will utilize new quantitative data on foreign aid projects, nongovernmental organizations’ programs, and media access and usage, all of which are geo-tagged at the district level. In addition, I will perform interviews with tribal chiefs’ and local church leaders. Combining these data together, I will explain which mechanisms have had the greatest impact and why, and how these diverse mechanisms fit together and interrelate.

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 Presented in Session P8. Economy, Labor Force, Education, and Inequality/Gender, Race and Ethnicity