Chapter

Rape Attack

Carolyn Nordstrom and Antonius C. G. M. Robben

in Fieldwork Under Fire

Published by University of California Press

Published in print January 1996 | ISBN: 9780520089938
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520915718 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520089938.003.0008
Rape Attack

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Cathy Winkler is an ethnographer who had to pick up the shattered pieces of her own life. Anthropologists are not immune from the violence that seems endemic to human society. This chapter describes how the author was abused repeatedly by a rapist and then became the victim, survivor, witness, plaintiff, investigator, and researcher of her own assault. It conveys the confusion, irrationality, and bewilderment of the rape attack in particular and of violent conflict as well as research on violence in general. The person under attack is placed in a disordered world of ambiguity and incongruence. The resulting existential shock-felt by many ethnographers of violence but in a heightened sense by the ethnographer who becomes a victim-survivor—is experienced as the deconstruction, destruction, transformation, traumatization, and, ultimately, assassination of identity and self.

Keywords: victim-survivor; violence; Cathy Winkler; rape

Chapter.  14111 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Theory and Practice of Anthropology

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