From atrocity to data: historiographies of rape in Former Yugoslavia and the gendering of genocide

Lindsey, Rose (2002) From atrocity to data: historiographies of rape in Former Yugoslavia and the gendering of genocide Patterns of Prejudice, 36, (4), pp. 59-78. (doi:10.1080/003132202128811556).


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The media response to the mass rape of women in Former Yugoslavia, and the subsequent setting up of the International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia, have had a massive impact on the way in which these rapes have been represented, researched and analysed. The early conclusion that the rapes were part of a genocide, perpetrated by Serbs against Muslims, led to a demand for physical evidence to prove that the rapes were taking place, that they were systematic and were ethnically driven. The result has been an overarching emphasis on evidence that has dominated the description, analysis and theorizing of the rapes and has led to the marginalizing and silencing of a range of voices, particularly of those working with survivor communities and the survivors themselves. The evidence-led debate has created a genre in which there has been an almost casual use of survivor testimony by academics to illustrate the types of violence that have taken place. This appropriation of survivors' stories has degraded survivor testimony and led to a readership habituated to narratives of violence. The dominance of evidence and proof in writing on rape has fossilized the debate on sexual violence and genocide. If these debates are to be revived, new theoretical directions need to be developed. Lindsey argues that a feminist analysis of the social structures within societies that have experienced mass sexual violence alongside genocide can provide a new and enlightening contribution to the broader debate on gender and genocide.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1080/003132202128811556
ISSNs: 0031-322X (print)
Keywords: crime against humanity, ethnicity, evidence, feminist analysis, former yugoslavia, gendercide, genocide, hegemony, interdisciplinary, NGO, perpetrator, rape, sexual violence, social structures, survivor, use of testimony
Organisations: Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology
ePrint ID: 333226
Date :
Date Event
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2012 13:30
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2017 17:29
Further Information:Google Scholar

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