Theories of femicide and their significance for social research

Consuelo Corradi*, Chaime Marcuello-Servós, Santiago Boira, Shalva Weil

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


Almost four decades have passed since the term femicide was coined in 1976. This new word had a political purpose, in that it intended to produce changes in the social order which tolerated the violent death of women. Since that time, the word has generated a theoretical concept that encompasses the killing of a woman as a specific social phenomenon. Femicide is an effort in sociological imagination that has been successful in transforming conventional perception, public awareness, scientific research and policy making. This article undertakes to review how femicide has evolved in social research. It analyses the most important theories explaining femicide: the feminist, sociological, criminological, human rights and decolonial research approaches and their theoretical significance. It discusses Mexico as a case study, exemplifying how a new English term was then translated into another language and applied in a very specific socio-political context, so that it became instrumental in changing reality and improving the lives of women. Finally, the article proposes a framework where femicide is understood as a social phenomenon that demands an interdisciplinary approach. The authors recommend a systemic, multifaceted model in order to improve both scientific analysis and prevention.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)975-995
Number of pages21
JournalCurrent Sociology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, © The Author(s) 2016.


  • Female homicide victimization
  • femicide
  • feminicidio
  • theories of violence
  • violence against women


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