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The relationship between dominant Western discourse and personal narratives of female genital cutting: exploring storytelling among Swedish-Somali girls and women
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health. Malmö Univ, Ctr Sexol & Sexual Studies, Dept Social Work, Malmö, Sweden..
Malmö Univ, Ctr Sexol & Sexual Studies, Dept Social Work, Malmö, Sweden..
Malmö Univ, Ctr Sexol & Sexual Studies, Dept Social Work, Malmö, Sweden..
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health, International Maternal and Reproductive Health and Migration.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2900-2849
2023 (English)In: Frontiers in Sociology, E-ISSN 2297-7775, Vol. 8, article id 1188097Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Introduction: A dominant narrative, referred to as "the standard tale," prevails in popular representations about female genital cutting (FGC) that often contrast with how cut women traditionally narrate their FGC experience as meaningful in contexts where FGC is customary. However, scholarship has increasingly highlighted how global eradication campaigns and migration to countries where FGC is stigmatized provide women with new frames of understanding which may lead to a reformulation of previous experiences. This article subjects the storytelling itself to analysis and explores how participants narrate and make sense of their FGC experience in a post-migration setting where FGC is stigmatized.

Methods: Semi-structured focus groups (9) and individual interviews (12) with Swedish-Somali girls and women (53) were conducted.

Results: The article highlights how the participants navigate their storying in relation to "the standard tale" of FGC in their efforts to make sense of their experiences. Navigation was conducted both at an intrapersonal level through continuous identity work, and in relation to the social context in interpersonal encounters, i.e., with service providers and others, among whom the standard tale has become a truth.

Discussion: The article places the analysis within broader discussions about anti-FGC work and considers the implications in relation to efforts to end FGC.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Frontiers Media SA , 2023. Vol. 8, article id 1188097
Keywords [en]
female genital cutting, female genital mutilation, anti-FGM discourse, migration, storytelling, qualitative research
National Category
Social Work Social Anthropology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-508840DOI: 10.3389/fsoc.2023.1188097ISI: 001032417000001PubMedID: 37497100OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-508840DiVA, id: diva2:1788244
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2015-03546Swedish Research Council, 2018-03365Available from: 2023-08-16 Created: 2023-08-16 Last updated: 2023-08-16Bibliographically approved

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Essén, Birgitta

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