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Author Ramirez de Arellano, Adriana
Title Voice and identity in legal narratives of gender violence and sexual torture in the southwestern United States
book jacket
Descript 456 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 69-09, Section: A, page: 3604
Adviser: Louise Lamphere
Thesis (Ph.D.)--The University of New Mexico, 2008
This dissertation analyzes three court cases looking at the role of attorneys in giving a voice to victims of gender violence and the concomitant production of subjectivities for each party. The analysis utilizes Gerd Baumann's model of "grammars of identity/alterity" as a means to assess the legal production of identities
In the first case, a woman was accused of killing her estranged husband. Each side produced opposing sets of "orientalizing" grammars for the defendant and for the deceased. The prosecution portrayed the defendant as a scorned woman with a murderous plan; her husband was portrayed as her unsuspecting victim. The defense portrayed the deceased as a manipulative man at the verge of bankruptcy with a murderous plan to solve his economic predicament; their client was portrayed, meanwhile, as the intended victim of that plan
In the second case, a woman was accused of abetting her husband in the statutory rape of a twelve year-old girl. The prosecution produced a set or orientalizing identities portraying the defendant as a "pimp" intent on providing her husband with a "virgin" (i.e., the victim)
This analysis reveals how rape law often reproduces the rapist's point of view in the courtroom: the detectives elicited from the rapist a retelling of the crimes filled with gratuitous and thus, pornographic detail starring the victim
The last case analysis focuses on a series of trials of a man accused of the sexual torture of several women. Whereas the prosecution insisted that the defendant was a criminal sexual sadist, the defense produced an orientalizing set of identities whereby the defendant was portrayed as a practitioner of consensual sadomasochism and his victims as willing participants
The defendant---through his narratives of torture---produced his own set of orientalizing identities, namely the master/slave dyadic roles that framed his crimes. When the defendant's complicated infrastructure of torture is considered on its own terms, the analysis reveals how narrative, mechanics, and optics converged, imposing the torturer's point of view upon his victims long before his narratives of extreme sexual violence and hatred of the feminine were ever reproduced in the courtroom
School code: 0142
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 69-09A
Subject Anthropology, Cultural
Women's Studies
Sociology, Criminology and Penology
Alt Author The University of New Mexico
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