Symbolic Violence and Gendered Sexualised Violence

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It has been suggested, that Bourdieu ´s concept of symbolic violence is useful in explaining gendered phenomena of late modern western societies, which can no longer simply be understood as classic patriarchies (B. Krais 1993). In these societies, and in spite of the existence of gendered sexualised phenomena such as rape and prostitution, it is often assumed that full equality of the sexes has been achieved.

The concept of symbolic violence implies the participation of both men and women in aspects of discourses and other social practices related to gendering and thus to gendered sexualised violence. It deconstructs the dualisation of gender in gendered phenomena that contribute to the dualising/blaming controversies concerning responsibility and guilt common in discourses, activism and research pertaining to this field. Furthermore the use of the concept makes it possible to do so without individualising and pathologising gendered sexualised violence and personal difficulties connected hereto, consequently disregarding the important involvement of gendered and gendering societal processes (S. Ronkainen 2001). Also, its focus on the symbolic points to the central position of mass media in these processes.

Therefore the use of an analytical approach to diverse forms of sexualised violence drawing on the concept of symbolic violence coupled with a conduct of everyday life approach, may enrich further analysis of the continuing existence and changing forms of diverse kinds of gendered sexualised violence in western societies.
Translated title of the contributionSymbolsk vold og kønnet sexualiseret vold
Original languageEnglish
Publication date15 Oct 2013
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2013
EventIda Blom Conference 2013 - University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
Duration: 14 Oct 201315 Oct 2013


ConferenceIda Blom Conference 2013
LocationUniversity of Bergen
Internet address

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