VICTIMS AND VILLAINS: SUBJECT POSITIONING IN DISCURSIVE RECONSTRUCTIONS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT
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This thesis is a feminist informed, discursive research project. Three studies are presented, each designed to explore reconstructions of sexual harassment incidents. The first and second studies were based upon a corpus of interview data, generated specifically for the research project. The author interviewed six women and encouraged detailed discussion about sexual harassment. The third study was conducted utilising media data. The data includes an initial allegation and description of an incident of sexual harassment, in the form of a magazine article, and a collection of published responses written by journalists, academics and members of the public. The data were analysed utilising a 'hybrid' discursive approach that combined the frameworks of conversation analysis and critical discourse analysis to deconstruct both the interactional and ideological components of the discourse. This thesis makes several distinctive contributions to existing literature. Firstly, whilst hybrid analysis has been advocated by others, it has rarely been applied and therefore this project contributes an example of its application. Secondly, the project offers as its focus a deconstruction of subject positions and the function they serve in the allocation of responsibility and accountability of sexual harassment. This is unique in the field. Thirdly, to feminist action and women's emancipation, the project contributes a knowledge and understanding of women's oppressive and constrained experiences. Through knowledge of oppression women's emancipation can be more easily achieved.
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