Relational Violence in Emergency Conditions. A Methodological Proposal Based on Personal Network Analysis

Luca Toschi


The issue of gender-based violence, in addition to representing a theme with a strong emotional impact, offers a demonstration of how interpersonal relationships, far from being a merely private fact, are indicative of the cultural structures present in post-industrial societies. This article proposes – also making use of the possibilities offered by the specialized statistical software – the profitable inclusion of the Social Network Analysis in the confines of a sociological paradigm autonomous from a theoretical point of view, according to the line traced by Randall Collins in the 80s, but above all applied to social problems traditionally external to it, such as private violence and gender victimization processes.

The pandemic condition, as reported by many commentators and daily reports, worsened borderline situations of domestic violence also due to the co-presence forced by the lockdown, suggesting specialists new ways of research and help strategies for both confirmed and potential victims. In this research note we want to present an investigation model based on the Personal Network Analysis technique in conditions of strong psychological deprivation and intersubjective pressure on women victims of abuse, also referring to a research-intervention carried out in 2019 at Sapienza University of Rome: an in-depth feasibility study conducted with the collaboration of ‘Centro Donna Lilith’ located in Latina (Lazio, Italy).


cultural networks; relational methodologies; personal gendered communities

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ISSN 2239-8589 | Managing Editor: Debora Viviani | Editor in Chief: Paola Di Nicola