Representations of partner violence in young adult literature : dating violence in Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight saga
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This dissertation is a qualitative study examining the behavior of the main characters in the novels in Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight Saga as those behaviors compare to behavior listed in warnings about partner violence. The study found specific behaviors of those fictional characters matching those recognized as behaviors of partner violence in all four novels in the series, including behaviors that are illegal. The commercial success and popularity of the novels, aimed at the young adult reader market, suggests broad social acceptance of the characters’ behaviors in romantic pursuit. Despite over 30 years of anti-violence work, this research suggests that behaviors are socially well accepted as both indicators of romantic attachment and of partner violence, depending on context rather than behavior. The study demonstrates the fluidity of how behaviors are defined as partner violence, or not. These findings also suggest strategies for social work education, practice and research.