Sexual torture. Exploring discourses within one refugee community

Prof Doc Thesis

Gratton, Jacqueline 2005. Sexual torture. Exploring discourses within one refugee community. Prof Doc Thesis University of East London School of Psychology
AuthorsGratton, Jacqueline
TypeProf Doc Thesis

There is a lack of psychological research concerning how refugee communities in the U.K.
make sense of sexual torture perpetrated in their country of origin. In particular, current
psychological conceptualisations of emotional distress related to sexual torture betray
Western culture's preference for individualising such distress and separating the individual
from their community. Discourses are thought to constrain or encourage particular ways of
talking and acting and therefore may determine the relationship between survivors of sexual
torture and their community. Discourses offer a link between the individual and their
community and allow some explorations of cultural and political context which are non
Western. Interviews were conducted through an interpreter with 9 members of a Congolese
refugee community organisation to explore the discourses they were drawing upon in relation
to sexual torture. Foucauldian Discourse Analysis was utilised to identify discourses such as
sexual worth, ancestral power, forgetting, God as ultimate power, lawlessness and systematic
rape. The implications of these discourses for the relationship between the community and
survivors of sexual torture were explored, as where the implications for psychologists in their
work with both survivors and refugee communities.

Publication dates
PrintMay 2005
Publication process dates
Deposited10 Jun 2014
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