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Alternative Memories: Searching for Knowledge, Telling a Story

By Jo Woodiwiss


Drawing on a research project looking at women’s engagement with the sexual\ud abuse recovery literature this paper explores the role of ‘alternative memories’\ud (body memories, feeling memories, acting-out memories, imagistic memories,\ud symptoms of abuse in adulthood) in women coming to ‘know’ they were\ud sexually abused in childhood. Particularly for women who enter adulthood\ud with no memories or knowledge of such abuse, these alternative memories\ud often represent the only evidence women have for a sexual abuse history and\ud occupy a central position in the sexual abuse recovery literature. I look at these\ud memories as a source of knowledge on which women base their narratives and\ud sense of self. I go on to explore the extent to which this knowledge comes from\ud ‘within’, as argued in the recovery literature, or whether it is more related to\ud the cultural conditions of our time, and what difference this has had on the\ud women whose narratives are based on such memories

Topics: BF
Publisher: University of Huddersfield
Year: 2006
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.hud.ac.uk:4911

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