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Filed under: Free speech, Liberal Arts and Literatures

“Human Rights Narratives” II

11. Chilean documentary narrative, 1980-1990
by Moors, Ximena Alen, Ph.D., University of Florida, 1991, 202 pages; AAT 9209051
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Advisor: Avellaneda, Andres
School: University of Florida
School Location: United States — Florida
Index terms(keywords): testimonial texts, Spanish text
Source: DAI-A 52/10, p. 3617, Apr 1992
Source type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Latin American literature
Publication Number: AAT 9209051
Document URL: http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=745160661&sid=9&Fmt=2&clientId=53836&RQT=309&VName=PQD
ProQuest document ID: 745160661

Abstract (Document Summary)
This study presents testimonial texts published in Chile during the 1980s, under Pinochet’s regime, as part of a broad countercultural activity marked by a search to speak repressed truths. The testimonial trend, a constant in Latin American narrative and strongly encouraged under the Unidad Popular government, was reassumed in Chile by the Catholic Church and the opposition press after the military coup.

In general, testimonial texts pose problems of classification. Two of these are discussed here their literary status, debatable and debated, as it challenges the traditional concept of literature and their non-professional, collective authorship. In the Chilean context, testimonial narrative manifests itself mainly in three forms: the direct testimonio, a first-person account, usually written and published for the first time in exile; libros-reportajes, normally composed by journalists and lawyers, dealing mostly with human rights violations; and historias de vida, life stories of marginal groups, complied by sociologists and anthropologists.

The publication and circulation of testimonios and libros-reportajes under the same dictatorship accused by those texts of human rights violations poses a contradiction demanding explanation. After considering several, this study focuses on the role of Christian discourage in many of the texts and the decisive participation of the Catholic Church in their making.

Since testimonial texts are acknowledged mainly by the opposition press, seven representatives Chilean magazines were chosen for investigation of publications, announcements and reviews of testimonial works: Analisis, Apsi, Cauce, Hoy, Mensaje, Pluma y Pincel and La Bicicleta. Araucaria, a political-literary magazine in exile was also chosen for its strong commitment to testimonial texts. Ercilla and Que Pasa, pro-dictatorship periodicals, were used occasionally.

Source: http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?index=7&did=921026441&SrchMode=1&sid=9&Fmt=2&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=PQD&TS=1152783990&clientId=53836
12. TRANSNATIONALISM AND HUMAN RIGHTS: THE CASE OF AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
by RIPP, RUDOLPH K., Ph.D., City University of New York, 1982, 399 pages; AAT 8222974
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School: City University of New York
School Location: United States — New York
Source: DAI-A 43/05, p. 1678, Nov 1982
Source type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: International law, International relations
Publication Number: AAT 8222974
Document URL: http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=753162401&sid=9&Fmt=2&clientId=53836&RQT=309&VName=PQD
ProQuest document ID: 753162401

Abstract (Document Summary)
This empirical study analyzes the strategy, effectiveness, and limitations of Amnesty International, a transnational nongovernmental organization dedicated to the international protection of human rights. It focuses on the interactions between Amnesty International and several governments that were singled out by this London-based organization as the targets of extensive campaigns on behalf of victims of human rights violations. Since Amnesty International is one of many actors involved in the international protection of human rights, the descriptive narratives of this study illustrate the range of nongovernmental, governmental, and intergovernmental actions taken on behalf of these victims. In addition, the responses of those governments that were accused of violating human rights is documented.

In analyzing Amnesty International’s activities this study demonstrates the extent to which the systems of international and national politics impinge upon the activities of a nongovernmental human rights organization. The international political system affects the organization’s strategy, circumscribes its effectiveness, and imposes limitations on its efforts to protect human rights. The work of the organization is also impeded by those governments that are accused of violating human rights. Governmental actions which are taken to perpetuate the status quo and to maintain internal security and order often result in the violation of human rights; the rationales for these actions generally conflict with national and international efforts to protect these rights.

Source:http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=753162401&sid=9&Fmt=2&clientId=53836&RQT=309&VName=PQD

Filed under: cut and paste from somewhere else, Ideas, Liberal Arts and Literatures, Methodology, Narratives, Political Sciences

“Human Rights Narratives” I

1. Historical catharsis and the ethics of remembering in the post-apartheid novel
by Liatsos, Yianna, Ph.D., Rutgers The State University of New Jersey – New Brunswick, 2005, 240 pages; AAT 3176197
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Advisor: Attridge, Derek
School: Rutgers The State University of New Jersey – New Brunswick
School Location: United States — New Jersey
Index terms(keywords): Ethics, Remembering, Post-apartheid, Novel, Njabulo Ndebele, Zoe Wicomb, South Africa, J. M. Coetzee, Ndebele, Njabulo, Wicomb, Zoe, Coetzee, J. M.
Source: DAI-A 66/05, p. 1755, Nov 2005
Source type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Comparative literature, African literature, Literature
Publication Number: AAT 3176197
ISBN: 0542156636
Document URL: http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=921026441&sid=9&Fmt=2&clientId=53836&RQT=309&VName=PQD
ProQuest document ID: 921026441

Abstract (Document Summary)
This dissertation analyzes how three post-apartheid novels, representative of different South African racial constituencies, engage, complicate and inform both the vision of historical catharsis and the ethics of remembering associated with the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

The study begins by analyzing the idea of historical catharsis that was made popular in post-apartheid South African public discourse. I delineate the two different aims of the South African truth commission, to recover the historical “truth” of the apartheid past and to “reconcile” the previously fragmented nation, and examine them as distinct political frameworks. I proceed to argue that while the former aim directed the commission to function as a human rights institution whose priority lay in recovering the full scope and plurality of the apartheid past, the latter orientation directed the commission to function as a nation-building institution that overcame past division. I also argue that in its former capacity, the TRC aimed to bestow catharsis as clarification of South African history–bringing to light memories that were obscured during apartheid and in the colonial era that preceded it–while in its latter capacity, it practiced catharsis as purgation of historical memory–aiming to purge from national consciousness the traumas of past sociopolitical violence and its remaining tensions. While closely examining the narrative frameworks of the hearings, I conclude that in its human rights orientation, the TRC sought out storytelling performances that produced a pluralist, cubist imagining of the apartheid past, whereas in its reconciliatory orientation, the commission structured the hearings to evoke a tragic performance of the historical past, which reduced the storytellers into “victims” and “perpetrators” while sentimentalizing the proceedings at the expense of a more volatile yet simultaneously richer performative experience for both the storytellers and their audience.

The study then turns to analyze how Njabulo Ndebele’s The Cry of Winnie Mandela , Zoë Wicomb’s David’s Story , and J. M. Coetzee’s Disgrace , engage in performances of historical catharsis that both reveal unpopular historical crevasses of the apartheid history and posit alternative political ethics of communal engagement and remembering.
Source: http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?index=7&did=921026441&SrchMode=1&sid=9&Fmt=2&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=PQD&TS=1152783990&clientId=53836

2. NGO narratives of human rights and rehabilitation in Cambodia: A transnational advocacy and policy framework for appropriating identity amidst a quest for transitional justice
by Mann, Henrik J., Ed.D., University of San Francisco, 2005, 258 pages; AAT 3166368
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Advisor: Herda, Ellen A.
School: University of San Francisco
School Location: United States — California
Index terms(keywords): Nongovernmental organizations, Human rights, Rehabilitation, Cambodia, Advocacy, Identity, Justice
Source: DAI-A 66/02, p. 658, Aug 2005
Source type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Cultural anthropology, International law, International relations, School administration
Publication Number: AAT 3166368
ISBN: 0542018403
Document URL: http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=885696711&sid=9&Fmt=2&clientId=53836&RQT=309&VName=PQD
ProQuest document ID: 885696711

Abstract (Document Summary)
This research applies a critical hermeneutic orientation to participatory field inquiry in Cambodia in order to explore the nature of human rights advocacy as war-related trauma continues to weaken civil society. Specifically, it seeks to understand how human rights advocacy and organization, in preparation for an Extraordinary Chambers tribunal, and landmine abatement and rehabilitation work, touch upon concerns of personal and political identity through development initiative in Cambodia.

This study recognizes not only that many Cambodians have courageously moved on from the Khmer Rouge era to rebuild their lives, but also that the emergence of Cambodian civil society is fragile and ambiguous in nature, involving a necessary partnership with international non-governmental humanitarian aid organizations. Narratives of this partnership are explored, particularly from prominent organizations which attempt to ameliorate effects of post-war trauma that still tragically sabotage Cambodian identity. In doing so, this study anticipates how Cambodians might be further liberated into a new critical consciousness which embraces and generates a more preferable future.

The data of this research is generated from recorded conversations with a variety of extraordinary participants, many of whom are experts in the field of international development, politics, or religion. Still others provide a compelling embodiment of the Cambodian voice. These conversations have been analyzed through the theoretical foundations of philosophers working in sympathy with 20 th century Continental philosophy.

The findings of this research expose the anatomy of Cambodia’s evolving humanitarian crisis and identify specific policy implications for how human rights advocacy might more effectively rebuild lives and civil society. Effort is made to delineate nine themes of a transnational advocacy and policy framework which provide guidance for educators and advocates working around the world with immigrant communities who have suffered war-related trauma.

Additionally, this research reveals the hidden role of American political intransigence in relation to opportunities for full reconciliation with Cambodia, seeking to clarify how US foreign policy toward Cambodia continues to shield Dr. Kissinger from possible war crimes responsibility and ignore making reparations for killing some 600,000 civilians. American intransigency continues to haunt both Cambodian and American political identity over 35 years later.

Source: http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?index=12&did=885696711&SrchMode=1&sid=9&Fmt=2&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=PQD&TS=1152784264&clientId=53836

3.Rewriting nation: Post-independence narratives of resistance written by women of India and Pakistan
by Rajan, V. G. Julie, Ph.D., Rutgers The State University of New Jersey – New Brunswick, 2005, 327 pages; AAT 3176215
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Advisor: Diamond, M. Josephine
School: Rutgers The State University of New Jersey – New Brunswick
School Location: United States — New Jersey
Index terms(keywords): Nation, Post-independence, Narratives, Resistance, Women, India, Pakistan
Source: DAI-A 66/05, p. 1757, Nov 2005
Source type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Comparative literature, Womens studies, Asian literature
Publication Number: AAT 3176215
ISBN: 0542156911
Document URL: http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=920927141&sid=9&Fmt=2&clientId=53836&RQT=309&VName=PQD
ProQuest document ID: 920927141

Abstract (Document Summary)
Since 1947, the relationship between India and Pakistan has been filled with tension, rooted in a series of land partitions, religious and ethnic violence, racial-based caste and tribal segregation, and repetitive wars over nuclear weapons. The narratives of both nations, the ways in which their unique identities are imagined and produced, are dominated by masculine strategies of violence resulting in increased violence against and the heightened commodification of women.

Although they hail from nations historically opposed to one another, since 1947 Pakistani and Indian women have employed comparative tactics in their resistance writings, such as tropes of enclosure and disruptive structural techniques, to question their respective countries’ notions of nationalism and citizenship. At the national level, women’s fiction challenges communal identity relations, such as caste and ethnicity to undermine the credibility of segregationist, hierarchical institutions upon which many nationalist competitive strategies have been based. At the regional level, women’s writings collectively rupture the practice of neo-colonialist processes based on racial and religious difference that are central to the identities of postcolonial nations. At the international level, Pakistani and Indian women’s writings engage with international women’s and human rights movements to establish similarities among women’s experiences across national boundaries.

Assessing fiction in English by Pakistan and Indian women writers post-1947, this analysis affects a discursive exploration of how Indian and Pakistani women’s reflections on feminine subjectivity affect changes in the ways that their nations are imagined and produced–in effect, how Pakistani and Indian women’s writings re-write their nations’ narratives.

Source: http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?index=14&did=920927141&SrchMode=1&sid=9&Fmt=2&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=PQD&TS=1152784264&clientId=53836

4. Performing the signs of injury: Critical perspectives on traumatic storytelling after apartheid
by Colvin, Christopher James, Ph.D., University of Virginia, 2004, 409 pages; AAT 3137288
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Advisor: Handler, Richard
School: University of Virginia
School Location: United States — Virginia
Index terms(keywords): Storytelling, Traumatic storytelling, Apartheid, South Africa
Source: DAI-A 65/06, p. 2255, Dec 2004
Source type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Cultural anthropology
Publication Number: AAT 3137288
Document URL: http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=766122631&sid=9&Fmt=2&clientId=53836&RQT=309&VName=PQD
ProQuest document ID: 766122631

Abstract (Document Summary)
Since the end of apartheid, those who suffered human rights violations during apartheid became the objects of a great deal of attention, both inside and outside South Africa. Victims have been repeatedly approached for their stories and experiences, asked permission to record and circulate these narratives, and, often, promised a range of benefits. These promises typically go unfulfilled and victims have grown increasingly impatient with the next person who arrives on their doorstep, speaking about the miracle of testimony and reconciliation. This dissertation traces the ambivalent testimonial practice of “traumatic storytelling” in the work of Khulumani, a victim support and advocacy group, and the Cape Town Trauma Centre, a psychological trauma clinic that offered counseling services to Khulumani members. Traumatic storytelling was frequently a point of conflict and debate between Khulumani and the many individuals and institutions–both local and foreign–that sought out their traumatic narratives. These tensions were heightened as Khulumani pursued a high-profile political battle for reparations from the government, and increasingly drew attention, both welcome and unwelcome, from journalists, academics, and politicians.

The chapters move roughly chronologically through a broad, two-year ethnographic account of the work of Khulumani and the Trauma Centre. Each chapter also highlights one or more of the various “domains” in which traumatic storytelling operated. Chapters 1 and 2 examine traumatic storytelling as a product of a number of political, religious and scientific discourses that came together in the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). Chapter 3 examines debates around the psychological dimensions of traumatic storytelling. Chapter 4 moves from the psychological to the social and moral aspects of traumatic storytelling. Chapter 5 looks at the “political economy of traumatic storytelling” while Chapter 6 considers the relationship between traumatic storytelling and political action.Chapter 7 considers the kinds of subjectivity promoted by traumatic storytelling. The final chapter examines the question of “memory, power, and subjectivity” in traumatic storytelling and discusses the emerging politics of trauma and memory in post-apartheid South Africa.

Source: http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?index=21&did=766122631&SrchMode=1&sid=9&Fmt=2&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=PQD&TS=1152784532&clientId=53836

5. Sequelae of political torture: Narratives of trauma and resilience by Iranian torture survivors
by Ghahary, Nouriman, Ph.D., Seton Hall University, College of Education and Human Services, 2003, 266 pages; AAT 3093186
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Advisor: Palmer, Laura
School: Seton Hall University, College of Education and Human Services
School Location: United States — New Jersey
Index terms(keywords): Political torture, Narratives, Trauma, Resilience, Iranian, Torture, Survivors
Source: DAI-B 64/06, p. 2916, Dec 2003
Source type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Psychotherapy, Social psychology, Welfare, Minority & ethnic groups, Sociology
Publication Number: AAT 3093186
Document URL: http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=766062081&sid=9&Fmt=2&clientId=53836&RQT=309&VName=PQD
ProQuest document ID: 766062081

Abstract (Document Summary)
More than 100 countries around the world use systematic torture against civilians and members of political opposition groups. Iran has been identified as one of seven countries with the most “appalling human rights records” (Amnesty International, 2001). In addition to continual use of public floggings and stoning of civilians for punishment of crimes, between 1981 to 1988, the government of Iran executed thousands of political prisoners, almost all youngsters, and killed many others under torture to obtain confessions (Abrahamian, 1999). This qualitative investigation presents a narrative approach to the study of trauma and resilience. It addresses the question of how a group of former political prisoners from Iran, have made sense of their torture experience and their survival, and how they define their proactive work for the protection of human rights. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with activist torture survivors from Iran, who currently live in Germany. They were interviewed about their experiences and explanations of their overcoming adversity given the Iranian historical, sociopolitical and cultural context. Interviews were audiotaped and transcribed, and narrative analysis was used to describe the emerging themes of trauma and resilience. This study’s social and clinical implications lie in its utility to give voice to an invisible group, who has hands-on knowledge of surviving political violence. Findings contribute on the level of theory, calling for an integrative approach, addressing both individual and collective aspects of trauma and resilience. Findings also call attention to the inclusion of concepts of political psychology and social trauma when working with victims of political oppression.

Source: http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?index=44&did=766062081&SrchMode=1&sid=9&Fmt=2&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=PQD&TS=1152784778&clientId=53836
6. Asylum seekers, recognisable victims and national identity in contemporary South Africa
by Tuepker, Anais Renee, Ph.D., University of New South Wales (Australia), 2002; AAT 0806588
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School: University of New South Wales (Australia)
School Location: Australia
Index terms(keywords): Asylum seekers, Victims, National identity, South Africa, Refugees
Source: DAI-A 65/06, Dec 2004
Source type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Minority & ethnic groups, Sociology
Publication Number: AAT 0806588
Document URL: http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=766251351&sid=9&Fmt=2&clientId=53836&RQT=309&VName=PQD
ProQuest document ID: 766251351

Abstract (Document Summary)
My central thesis is that the constitution of the refugee is inseparable from the local context of the host nation-state, for it is at this level that the nationalising order both captures claims to personhood itself and gives meaning to the key concepts that make “refugee/asylum seeker” an intelligible category and the individual applicant recognisable within that category. While legal personhood in general is problematic for the liminal asylum seeker, culture and history at the level of a national discourse are what define concepts like “human rights,” “the political” and “persecution” (in less legal language, “suffering” or “victimhood”) upon which asylum practice is unavoidably grounded. The empirical focus of the thesis is asylum practice in South Africa. The ethnography of asylum practices is used to introduce an analytical framework for considering seriously the impact of local worlds on the limits of recognition, legal and otherwise, which are formulated in reference to asylum seekers in a given national setting.

Chapter One gives an overview of the current international framework within which states formulate their official asylum policies. Chapter Two introduces concepts taken from Giorgio Agamben to examine how confusion between the citizen and the human determines the success or failure of a human rights discourse in protecting the interests of asylum seekers, depending on the historically and culturally determined potential for the emergence of an identity of victimhood which citizens recognise as communally shared.

Chapter Three explores the regional political landscape and considers the “new” South Africa’s relationship to the rest of the continent. Here the potential for identification between citizens and asylum seekers is argued to be extremely limited by the reservation of a properly political identity to those with a place in the affluent world.

Chapter Four contrasts the practices of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission with those of its asylum determination process. It argues asylum seekers are denied the sense of community necessary to both witnessing and testifying well. It also argues that nationalised narratives encourage some explanations of suffering while pathologising others, excluding the subjective interpretations of some citizens and asylum seekers alike.

Source: http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?index=55&did=766251351&SrchMode=1&sid=9&Fmt=2&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=PQD&TS=1152785285&clientId=53836
7.“It’s worse than the war”: Telling everyday danger in postwar San Salvador
by Moodie, Ellen, Ph.D., University of Michigan, 2002, 550 pages; AAT 3042137
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Advisor: Behar, Ruth
School: University of Michigan
School Location: United States — Michigan
Index terms(keywords): Danger, Postwar, San Salvador, El Salvador, Violence
Source: DAI-A 63/02, p. 646, Aug 2002
Source type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Cultural anthropology, Latin American history
Publication Number: AAT 3042137
ISBN: 0493557237
Document URL: http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=726373421&sid=9&Fmt=2&clientId=53836&RQT=309&VName=PQD
ProQuest document ID: 726373421

Abstract (Document Summary)
This dissertation centers on fragments of Salvadoran postwar experience entextualized as crime narratives, shared in everyday conversation and absorbed into newspaper articles and television reports produced in the mid-1990s. In 1996, El Salvador’s murder rate surpassed wartime levels and showed it to be the most violent in Latin America. This thesis thus asks, what does unremitting, everyday violence mean to people in the context of transition from war? It argues that the circulation of stories of danger and violence, occurring at the intersection of self and other, citizen and state, the powerful and powerless, became one way to talk about and evaluate the postwar transition in El Salvador. It suggests that the joint production of such stories among Salvadorans worked to reshape memories of the war and to yield emergent understandings of social relations in the postwar period.

The thesis is based on research conducted in San Salvador between 1994 and 1999, using ethnographic field methods, mass media and literature research, and tape-recorded interviews. Drawing on anthropological and linguistic anthropological theories of semiotics, performance, narrative and social memory, this work offers a culturally focused way of theorizing about crime, violence and social relations, and contributes to an ethnographic perspective on postwar transition and human rights in Latin America. Its implications reach far beyond its immediate context. Crime rates continue to rise not only throughout Latin America but around the globe; post-conflict, post-authoritarian transitions are often accompanied by widespread non-“political” violence.

Source: Working at University serching fro these
8. A personal dimension of human rights activism: Narratives of trauma, resilience and solidarity
by Hernandez, Maria del Pilar, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2000, 338 pages; AAT 9978505
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Advisor: Roberts, Janine
School: University of Massachusetts Amherst
School Location: United States — Massachusetts
Index terms(keywords): Colombia, Human rights, Activism, Narratives, Trauma, Resilience, Solidarity
Source: DAI-B 61/07, p. 3846, Jan 2001
Source type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Psychotherapy, Academic guidance counseling
Publication Number: AAT 9978505
ISBN: 0599844531
Document URL: http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=728328311&sid=9&Fmt=2&clientId=53836&RQT=309&VName=PQD
ProQuest document ID: 728328311

Abstract (Document Summary)
This study addresses the question of how a group of eight Colombian adults, who were persecuted and displaced by political violence, have made sense of their personal survival in the midst of the political turmoil that the country faces. It focuses on the life stories they use to describe their experiences and the explanations available in their social context to talk about their trauma and survival as they make sense of their proactive work with other victims. Eight activist survivors of displacement and political violence were interviewed about their experiences and explanations for their overcoming adversity, and their views on how available academic discourses on the Colombian conflict speak to them. The meaning of politically based trauma and resilience is analyzed within their life stories. A narrative analysis of the transcripts is used to describe the themes that speak about the participants’ life experiences coping with the adversities of political violence in Colombia. Trauma and resilience stories are discussed to further an understanding of empowerment, human rights activism and community survival. I suggest that their ways of coping with adversity within the particular historical and socio-economic conditions of Colombia challenge several individualistic Western concepts about trauma: that traumatic responses are universal and therefore, victims of human rights violations presenting certain symptoms should be thought of as “disordered” according to mental health assessments; and that traumatic experiences should be defined as personal experiences; and that there is an essence to traumatic experiences that allow their detachment from the context in which they occur. The participants’ ways of coping with adversity illustrate that resilience is both a community and a personal process. The collective dimension of resilience encompasses processes that counteract social trauma. These processes aim to rebuild and sustain social relationships to heal the wounds of trauma and a sense of belonging and personal identity. The personal dimension of resilience processes is embedded in the collective.

Source: http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?index=83&did=728328311&SrchMode=1&sid=9&Fmt=2&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=PQD&TS=1152787542&clientId=53836
9.Narrating la violencia: State, gender, and violence in a transnational Guatemalan community
by Hastings, Julie Ann, Ph.D., University of Michigan, 2000, 318 pages; AAT 9963798
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Advisor: Coronil, Fernando
School: University of Michigan
School Location: United States — Michigan
Index terms(keywords): Narrating, State, Gender, Violence, Transnational, Guatemalan
Source: DAI-A 61/03, p. 1051, Sep 2000
Source type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Cultural anthropology, Womens studies, Latin American history
Publication Number: AAT 9963798
ISBN: 0599680717
Document URL: http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=731871361&sid=9&Fmt=2&clientId=53836&RQT=309&VName=PQD
ProQuest document ID: 731871361

Abstract (Document Summary)
In this dissertation I explore the ways one group of indigenous Guatemalans narrated the extreme state violence they experienced during the early 1980s, a period popularly known as la violencia . Originally from the town of San José, this group of Guatemalans was dispersed both by la violencia and by economic necessity. Based on ethnographic research with Joseños in San José (Guatemala), Chiapas (Mexico) and Los Angeles (United States), I argue that Joseño narratives of state violence were tactical, learned and appropriated in situated contexts and toward practical ends. As such, rather than being inherently resistive, they often colluded with and reproduced categories of state authority. While reaffirming their own innocence of subversion, Joseño narratives often placed responsibility for la violencia on the guerrillas rather than the state. These claims of innocence often included accusing other Joseños of guerrilla involvement and thereby reinforced the Guatemalan state’s strategy of breaking down community cohesion. I further argue that the United States, Mexican, and Guatemalan governments were collusive in constructing the categories which legitimated state authority to police and control. In Guatemala, where the threat of army retribution continued, public discussion of la violencia was mostly limited to reiteration of the Guatemalan government’s “official story” that the guerrillas provoked the violence and that those killed by the army were guerrillas and sympathizers. In Mexico, a genre of testimonial narratives emerged in a context in which refugee status, protection, and aid were dependent on the representation of a collective history of persecution and innocence. In Los Angeles, individualization and denial of refugee status by the INS limited the development of a collective testimonial discourse. In all three contexts, the marginalization of state-sponsored rape accounts reproduced the categorization of rape as a non-political crime. Joseños’ narratives did, at times, challenge the legitimacy of la violencia , particularly by appropriating a human rights discourse which articulated various forms of systematic oppression and violence. The rare inclusion of state-sponsored rape survivors as representatives of a community of political innocence allowed for a radical critique of the Guatemalan state and the violence it committed.

Source: http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?index=92&did=731871361&SrchMode=1&sid=9&Fmt=2&VInst=PROD&VType=PQD&RQT=309&VName=PQD&TS=1152788066&clientId=53836
10.Codes of innocence: The rhetoric of victims’ rights
by Wood, Jennifer Kay, Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, 1999, 291 pages; AAT 9928014
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Advisor: Olson, Lester C.
School: University of Pittsburgh
School Location: United States — Pennsylvania
Index terms(keywords): Feminist, Law, Narrative, Innocence, Rhetoric, Victims’ rights
Source: DAI-A 60/04, p. 940, Oct 1999
Source type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Communication, Law, Womens studies
Publication Number: AAT 9928014
ISBN: 0599277971
Document URL: http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=733968711&sid=9&Fmt=2&clientId=53836&RQT=309&VName=PQD
ProQuest document ID: 733968711

Abstract (Document Summary)
This dissertation analyzes the public arguments for three victims’ rights, legal reforms for purposes of identifying and critiquing the rhetorical forms these appeals use. The three reforms analyzed are: (1) the right to make a “victim impact statement” during the sentencing phase of the criminal justice process; (2) the Victim Rights Clarification Act of 1997, which grants victims of federal crimes the right to be present during criminal justice proceedings and to speak during the sentencing phase of the criminal justice process; and (3) policies that require or encourage police officers to make a warrantless arrest when they have probable cause to believe someone has committed domestic violence.

This analysis concludes that the public arguments for these reforms are supported by narrative appeals about “innocent victims” that represent the experiences of few victims of crime. Further, “innocent victim” narratives rely upon implicit coded assumptions about the victim’s innocence and worth that are tied to the victim’s characteristics, such as gender, race, economic status, sexuality, and age, among others. Thus, the “codes of innocence” embedded in public arguments for crime victims’ legal rights risk incorporating these judgments about crime victims into the legal process and can therefore harm those victims of crime whose innocence may be questioned. The project uses social-elations theory to suggest alternative approaches to “victims’ rights” that do not require crime victims to prove their innocence–and their worth as human beings–in order to access and exercise their rights.
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Filed under: cut and paste from somewhere else, Ideas, Liberal Arts and Literatures, Methodology, Narratives, Reading List, Women Studies