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Inside victims and outside offenders: dislocations and interventions in the discourse of rape
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2010 (English)In: Social Semiotics, ISSN 1035-0330, E-ISSN 1470-1219, Vol. 20, no 3, 309-324 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article is based on case studies of the reporting of four widely-publicized incidents of rape and/or sexual assault (in one case combined with murder) in the Swedish press. The analysis uses Thompson's theory of ideology, and Laclau's concepts of "dislocation" and "hegemonic intervention". The main argument is that variations in representational strategies cannot be understood exclusively in terms of actual variations as regards the contexts of these crimes. Rather, stories tend to take on their particular forms as a response to certain discursive "needs". We want to emphasize that the specific ways in which social problems - such as crimes - are symbolically constructed can be seen as products of which types of victims and offenders are needed by hegemonic discourse for it to be able to sustain itself. The news stories tend to employ a strategy according to which offender images are typically externalized and pushed towards the€"outside" while victim images are constructed in terms of inclusion.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford: Routhledge, Taylor & Fracis , 2010. Vol. 20, no 3, 309-324 p.
Keyword [en]
discourse, rape, victims, offenders, ideology, hegemony
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-34832DOI: 10.1080/10350331003722885OAI: diva2:325864
Available from: 2010-06-21 Created: 2010-06-21 Last updated: 2010-12-01Bibliographically approved

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