Om patriarkat, motstånd och uppbrott – tjejers rörelse i sociala rum
Sammanfattning: This dissertation focuses on some young girls and their family relations. My aim has been to investigate how some of those girls with foreign background who in media, government documents and project descriptions have come to be categorized as “vulnerable girls in patriarchal families” – what has come to be termed honour-related violence and oppression, HRV – describe their situation themselves. The selection consists of eleven girls between 16 and 20 years old who have expressed that they live with restrictions and control of their social life and their sexuality. This means that it is the girls’ subjective experiences that have defined their vulnerability and delimited the selection. The core of the study comprises (family) relations, with gender and generation as dimensions of power. The study moves within two fields of tension, one of which deals with generation and concerns the relation between parental authority and children’s dependence and vulnerability. The other field deals with gender and concerns conflicts between men’s domination and women’s subordination. The theoretical basis consists of theories of patriarchy together with Bourdieu’s theories of habitus and symbolic violence, which provide an understanding of the context that the interviewees found themselves in. Central for this understanding is how norms and values are transferred from the older to the younger generation. For a deepening of the habitus concept, theories are used from emotion sociology about the coupling between feelings, cognition and action, which become useful in the analysis of the girl’s self-reflections, their relations to their parents, and regarding their space for action. The experience described by the interviewees concerned areas such as gender and sexuality, generation, dominance and power, violence, ethnicity, culture and religion, but in the interviews there was also a bodily and emotional dimension. This dimension emerged during the analytical work as increasingly significant for understanding the whole. The families’ norms and values can be described as traditional values in three areas: (1) a strong sexual morality together with control of women’s sexuality; (2) norms of honour, meaning among other things that great emphasis was placed on the family’s honour, which was symbolized by the daughter’s virginity; (3) gendered practices that were concretized in the interviews through the fact that the man was seen primarily as the family provider while the household and children were the woman’s responsibility. The patriarchal family formations that the interviewees described I will understand as variations of patriarchy formed within transnational social spaces in a late modern society. The idea that a daughter’s virginity is the symbol of the family’s reputation and honour meant that the interviewees, in a special way, had to shoulder the burden of being cultural symbols and boundary markers – with moral implications – between the “Swedish” and the “non-Swedish”. Resistance against the boy-friend ban and the virginity requirement was presented by all the interviewees. They lived a double life. Through various strategies the girls tried increasing their space for action, and when the resistance became visible – when the boundary transgressions were discovered – the father made use of his resources of power. Patriarchy was manifested in different ways within the families, and how the power was exercised had importance for the resistance’s form and expression, but it also emerged that these factors relate to each other in a dynamically changing interaction. The resistance influenced the power in many ways as well. An important distinction between the families concerned violence. In five families, there were accounts of actual physical violence, and in another family there had been threats of physical violence. The interviewees found themselves at the intersection between a patriarchal field and a field characterized by a more free view of sexuality and with strong discourses of equality and children’s rights. It was within these frameworks that their movements and resistance played out. A result that has emerged during the analytical work is the father’s position and significant function as a point of reference in the girls’ narratives – the father’s authority and power were taken for granted in virtually all the families. Another result is that through the diverse expressions of patriarchy the emotional ties between father and daughter existed in the great majority of the families. Parallel with emotional dependence between father and daughter, most of the girls wanted more emotional closeness, a closeness that could also promote a dialogue and better communication. The relation between mother and daughter emerged as complex and contradictory.
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