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Vulnerability, agency and the ambivalence of place in narratives of rape in three high-profile Swedish cases

Andersson, Ulrika LU and Edgren, Monika (2018) In NORA - Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research 26(3). p.197-209
Abstract
For decades, the media have frequently been instrumental in framing rape cases by linking the deed with the place. This study demonstrates that law courts are not innocent of such social framing; on the contrary, they are significant agents. We argue that courts, by shaping the plot in rape cases, participate in an ongoing cultural production of meaning, although in a more subtle and ambivalent way than the media. In a narrative analysis of three contemporary rape cases in Sweden, we bring together feminist research on place with the concepts of vulnerability and agency. We argue that place is framed as ambivalent in relation to vulnerability and agency and dependent on the positioning of the plaintiff and the defendant. In court... (More)
For decades, the media have frequently been instrumental in framing rape cases by linking the deed with the place. This study demonstrates that law courts are not innocent of such social framing; on the contrary, they are significant agents. We argue that courts, by shaping the plot in rape cases, participate in an ongoing cultural production of meaning, although in a more subtle and ambivalent way than the media. In a narrative analysis of three contemporary rape cases in Sweden, we bring together feminist research on place with the concepts of vulnerability and agency. We argue that place is framed as ambivalent in relation to vulnerability and agency and dependent on the positioning of the plaintiff and the defendant. In court narratives geographical places are made relevant, including the locations where the alleged rapes took place. Court narratives of rape include highly ambivalent connotations to place in relation to vulnerability and agency, distinguished by different narratives and outcomes in the various instances. The legal and social implications of our work should include an awareness of the relevance of place in relation to rape. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Rape, Court narrative, Place, Vulnerability, Agency, Criminal law, Våldtäkt, Sårbarhet, Straffrätt
in
NORA - Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research
volume
26
issue
3
pages
197 - 209
publisher
Taylor & Francis
external identifiers
  • scopus:85052943599
ISSN
0803-8740
DOI
10.1080/08038740.2018.1472140
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
2d9ec1b0-97be-47e3-86cd-2cec16069001
date added to LUP
2018-06-18 19:00:04
date last changed
2019-02-20 11:20:22
@article{2d9ec1b0-97be-47e3-86cd-2cec16069001,
  abstract     = {For decades, the media have frequently been instrumental in framing rape cases by linking the deed with the place. This study demonstrates that law courts are not innocent of such social framing; on the contrary, they are significant agents. We argue that courts, by shaping the plot in rape cases, participate in an ongoing cultural production of meaning, although in a more subtle and ambivalent way than the media. In a narrative analysis of three contemporary rape cases in Sweden, we bring together feminist research on place with the concepts of vulnerability and agency. We argue that place is framed as ambivalent in relation to vulnerability and agency and dependent on the positioning of the plaintiff and the defendant. In court narratives geographical places are made relevant, including the locations where the alleged rapes took place. Court narratives of rape include highly ambivalent connotations to place in relation to vulnerability and agency, distinguished by different narratives and outcomes in the various instances. The legal and social implications of our work should include an awareness of the relevance of place in relation to rape. },
  author       = {Andersson, Ulrika and Edgren, Monika},
  issn         = {0803-8740},
  keyword      = {Rape,Court narrative,Place,Vulnerability,Agency,Criminal law,Våldtäkt,Sårbarhet,Straffrätt},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {08},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {197--209},
  publisher    = {Taylor & Francis},
  series       = {NORA - Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research},
  title        = {Vulnerability, agency and the ambivalence of place in narratives of rape in three high-profile Swedish cases},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08038740.2018.1472140},
  volume       = {26},
  year         = {2018},
}