If there is violence, there is resistance.

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If there is violence, there is resistance.

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Publication Bachelor thesis
Title If there is violence, there is resistance.
Author(s) Olsson, Sara E.
Date 2011
English abstract
This thesis is a discourse analysis of six rape trials, with the intention to analyze how the plaintiffs’’ resistance is described. The overall aim is to investigate whether there are forms of resistance that the courts find more desirable and if there are any rules for how resistance should manifest itself. I will also investigate how the rape is itself described by the plaintiff and courts, respectively. I will analyze how this affects the understanding and attitude toward what has happened. My discourse analysis instrument aims to highlight that there are rules that govern the words of the plaintiffs’ testimony during a trial. The discursive analysis that I apply is based on a social constructionist view, which means that there is not an objective truth and thus the language utilized acts to shape reality. In this analysis, I identify something called a “norm of resistance”, which means that courts treat certain forms of resistance preferentially: specifically the plaintiff must be seen to clearly establish her non-consent to the sexual act by her physical resistance. The resistance should have the intention of making the accused stop, and the resistance should also be based on the defendant's behavior. Witnesses in cases where the indictment was upheld are characterized by the plaintiffs providing logical explanations for her actions and resistance. In cases where the indictment was dismissed the plaintiff described something, which I see, as an internal resistance. The internal resistance is characterized by the plaintiff establishing non-consent by being physically passive. Here I would argue that internal resistance makes the plaintiffs' testimony abortive, because they do not follow the rules of legitimate resistance. In the second chapter, I will examine how the "rape" is described in court. In Swedish law, the sexual act is called sexual intercourse. The analysis of the description of sexual acts will show these descriptions to be based on norms of sexual behavior, where passivitvity from the plaintiff during the rape is a sign that the “sexual act” is mutual. When courts label the sexual act as mutual, the act is not seen as violent, but as purely sexual.
Publisher Malmö högskola/Hälsa och samhälle
Pages 35
Language swe (iso)
Subject(s) resistance
Discourse analysis
Subject position
Sexualised violence
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/11685 (link to this page)

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