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Fear and Loathing in Umeå - Gendered Bodies and Actual Imprints of the Haga Man
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS).
2013 (English)In: NORA: Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research, ISSN 0803-8740, E-ISSN 1502-394X, Vol. 21, no 2, 108-122 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study analyses the responses and reactions among women and men in Umeå during the period of threat from a serial rapist, the so-called Haga Man. This article discusses how the increased threat in public space influenced constructions of male and female bodies in space during a period of changing public crime discourses. The article illustrates the importance of context and demonstrates the temporality of how bodies are perceived in space. Public descriptions of the Haga Man focused on characteristics of the perpetrator’s body and “normal Swedish appearance”, which constructed an image of the dangerous white body. White male respondents positioned themselves in relation to these descriptions, and were partly challenged with respect to new perceptions and meanings associated with “normality”. In descriptions of the Haga Man’s victims, women were presented as vulnerable, but in contrast to many other cases of serial rape there was no immediate focus on their bodies in terms of respectability. A shift of emphasis took place, towards a focus on bodies that frighten, rather than those that are afraid. The findings contribute to a discussion of how gendered power relations can be understood through shifting representations of bodies in space.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis, 2013. Vol. 21, no 2, 108-122 p.
National Category
Gender Studies Human Geography
Research subject
Social and Economic Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-79320DOI: 10.1080/08038740.2013.782336OAI: diva2:640643
Available from: 2013-08-14 Created: 2013-08-14 Last updated: 2014-02-06Bibliographically approved

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Sandberg, Linda
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