Personal stories often occupy an ambivalent place between social hegemony and social change. In personal stories of sexual assault, this ambivalent place can be particularly charged when the narrator’s story is contested or resisted by the listener. Stories of sexual assault can reflect dominant victim discourses, while simultaneously resisting the role of victim as a survivor works to organize and frame a trauma experience. Dominant cultural narratives of victimhood often reflect hegemonic discourses, which restrict coping by providing a narrow victim framework for a survivor of sexual assault. However, this ambivalent place between a narrowly defined victimhood and social change can also provide opportunity for survivors to resist these narrow narrative confines and progress through the trauma. This chapter will analyze personal stories of sexual assault and focus on how survivors’ constructions of self are challenged and fractious as a result of sexual assault. Examples of how the narrators resist the dominant victim narrative to move toward personal and social change in their coping will be considered.
|Title of host publication||Stories Changing Lives|
|Subtitle of host publication||Narratives and Paths toward Social Change|
|Publisher||Oxford University Press|
|Number of pages||25|
|Publication status||Published - 01 Jan 2020|
- Sexual assault