Work identity at stake: The power of sexual abuse stories in the world of compulsory youth care
2003 (English)In: Narrative Inquiry, ISSN 1387-6740, Vol. 13, no 1, 217-242 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
This article deals with issues of narrative power in the highly contested area of sexual abuse stories. The storytellers are all members of a group of resident assistants working at a Swedish detention home for young women aged 13–21. Being a victim of sexual abuse was seen as a fundamental component in the complex picture of self destructive behavior impairing the young women. Expressing their suffering and talking about these experiences were seen as important aspects of the positive psychological development that was the aim of mandating the young women to compulsory care. The analysis focuses on the performative, destabilized struggle of the staff to maintain their work identity at the detention home, as they talked about their encounters with young women victimized by sexual abuse. The object of examination is how the work identity of the resident assistants at the institution was enacted and lived through in a narrative form as accountable patterns of meaning, as they took an active part in the process of narrating. The stories were “power stories” as well as “work identity stories”, considered to have the power to heal as well as the power to harm, and the staff regarded themselves as responsible for the storytelling, at the same time as they were not in control of either the act of storytelling or its outcome.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2003. Vol. 13, no 1, 217-242 p.
Sexual Abuse, Narrative, Young Women, Social Work Practice, Work Identity, Detention Home
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-13448DOI: 10.1075/ni.13.1.08oveOAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-13448DiVA: diva2:20763