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Personal profile

Research Statement

Current project: The role of educational providers in addressing intimate partner violence among youth in Northern Ireland

Since J.M. Makepeace’s 1981 study on ‘courtship violence’, a growing body of literature has drawn attention to the issue of intimate abuse among young people worldwide. Much of the research focus has been in establishing its prevalence, risk factors and consequences, however, only limited evidence exists to explain the role of education in addressing youth intimate partner violence (YIPV). Education has been identified as not only an important  factor in protecting against YIPV but also the strongest empowerment tool in overcoming the trauma it generates. Given the fact that the school environment has consistently been identified as an optimal place to prevent and tackle YIPV, the education sector became particularly prominent in helping to initially identify and then respond to cases of IPV amongst young people. Despite this, scientific evidence analysing the relationship between YIPV and the education sector, including non-formal education which can provide various development activities and directly engage with young people to fulfil their needs,remains deficient. In the absence of research on this issue, which is certainly true for Northern Ireland, this study aims to fill a significant gap in the literature by exploring the role of educational providers in addressing intimate partner violence among young people in Northern Ireland. Following interviews with providers in the youth, education and domestic violence sectors and having gathered the views of young people themselves, the objective is to develop a body of evidence capable of informing institutional as well as governmental policies in Northern Ireland.

Research Interests

Before joining QUB, I dedicated my time to Communication theories, more specifically the socio-psychological tradition that explores behavioural and cognitive characteristics in a communicative context. In particular, I delved into human ego or inner motivations for actions reflected in language, primarily in nonverbal. With a Bachelor of Arts in Foreign Languages, and a Master's in Communication Studies, I also became proficient in linguistics, semiotics and intercultural communication. This set of skills lead me to pursue a study on intercultural couple satisfaction, which revealed ways in which sexism guides every-day intimate interactions even in Western context. I was able to link ego motivations with sexist attitudes reflected in language, and as a result, I published a chapter on ego reflection in attitudes towards women and oppressed groups. I began incorporating socio-cultural tradition into my research, in particular, gender power struggle, objectification of a female body in media, and stereotypical power structures in the workplace, especially in political sphere. This is when I came across the term culture of peace, and co-authored a book chapter on conflict and peacebuilding, namely strategies that can be applied in the classroom. I realized the gravity of the impact that societal stereotypes and patriarchal structures can have on young people's wellbeing and relationship formation, which is why I decided to pursue my current project. 

Teaching

Barry University (2015)

Persuasion: Rhetoric of Social Intervention Model

English as a Foreign Language 

(2010-2011, 2018-2019)

Other

Current projects in progress:

Narratives of Female Identity: Objectification of Females in the Entertainment Industry (with Dr. Nickesia Gordon of Rochester Institute of Technology, USA)

Particulars

Other email addresses: lklencakova01@qub.ac.uk

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