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INCEST; "Att bo i en stulen kropp"
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2000 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this thesis I analyze, from a symbolic interactionist perspective, the way in which experiences of incest in childhood have an impact on the process of the development of self, as well as the consequences with regard to the social self in adult life. The empirical data consist of 15 interviews with women who have been subjected to incest by their biological fathers or stepfathers.

The study provides an alternative kind of understanding of incest. The chosen perspective has made possible an understanding of incest as a process, where the sexual abuse does not consist of isolated events but is part of a continuous incestuous process. In this process, the identity of the informants becomes that of a victim. The perpetrators are categorized as "the tyrants" and "the janus faces". The sexual abuse was experienced by some of the informants in such a painful way that they had to "leave the situation". Since they, because of their subordinate position, cannot "take their bodies with them", they leave in a psychological sense. Using the terminology of symbolic interactionism, the "I" disappears while the "me" remains. A result of this is that no interaction, role-taking nor definition of the situation is possible. This means that black holes and lapses of memory occur in the victims´ trajactories. The role of victim becomes "a bridge of identity" which carries over the black holes.

This study has also served to further develop concepts within the field of symbolic interactionism. Some concepts have been defined and used in a somewhat different way than the usual; e.g. by way of linking them to gender- and power relations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2000. , 206 p.
Keyword [en]
Sociology, incest, sexual abuse, symbolic interactionism, trajectories, role of victim
Keyword [sv]
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-75ISBN: 91-506-1424-XOAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-75DiVA: diva2:169672
Public defence
2000-09-22, Siegbahnsalen, Uppsala, 10:15
Available from: 2000-09-01 Created: 2000-09-01Bibliographically approved

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