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Ung lust och könat tvång: Representationer av sexuellt handlingsutrymme i svensk samtida ungdomsroman
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Centre for Gender Research.
2014 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 30 credits / 45 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This Master's thesis explores representations of sexual agency in contemporary, Swedish novels for young adults. Using a representational theory approach the thesis analyzes 24 novels published in 2000 – 2013. Addressing the following research questions: how is sexual agency constructed and regulated relative to gender performativity in Swedish novels for young adults? How are situations of sexual abuse and sexual “grey zones” (situations that border on abuse) represented and being made intelligible in the texts? What are the consequences of representations of sexual agency? In the readings of the novels discourse analysis and theories on cultural representation and power have served as the critical points of entry, as well as the methodological basis for the study. Furthermore, social constructionist gender theory, feminist phenomenology, masculinity studies and feminist theory on sexuality and power are central to the textual analyses offered. The results show that teenage girls in youth novels typically fall in to two categories. The girl protagonists either tend to be represented as having little or no knowledge about their own body, sexuality, or sexual discourse generally, which prevents them from inhabiting sexual agency. Or the teenage girl protagonists tend to, on the contrary, have plenty of sexual knowledge as well as sexual experience, actively claim sexual agency and initiate sexual practices. However, these girls sexual behavior is sanctioned by means of social stigmatization and harassment. Moreover the material shows that compared to the girls teenage boys often are represented as having a desire based and relatively uncomplicated relation to their sexuality and body as well as more sexual knowledge. Nevertheless, as with the girls, the boys sexual agency is also severely circumscribed by norms of masculinity that require boys to prove themselves as heterosexuals and demonstrate a persistent desire to have sex at all times. The fact that representations of sexual abuse and sexual “grey zones” are very frequent in novels for young adults is a striking finding; ways that these representations are often left unproblematized in the novels is discussed as a result of destructive and stereotypical gender constructions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 87 p.
Keyword [sv]
maskulinitet, femininitet, ungdomslitteratur, ungdomsroman, representation, sex, sexualitet, sexuella övergrepp, sexuella gråzoner
National Category
Other Humanities not elsewhere specified
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-232430OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-232430DiVA: diva2:747960
Available from: 2014-09-29 Created: 2014-09-17 Last updated: 2014-09-29Bibliographically approved

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