Trauma and Symbolic Violence – a 1st person perspective approach to meanings of sexualised coercion


  • Bodil Pedersen


1st person perspectives, trauma, symbolic violence, rape, looping effects


Our understanding of 'reactions to trauma' is dominated by concepts like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The use of such concepts has been criticised but simultaneously integrated, in folk-psychology. Connecting emotional and cognitive processes as well as acts – such as in gendered practices – to praxis, and drawing on the concept of symbolic violence, this article contributes to their critique. In order to develop the analysis of difficulties victims may experience, they will be reconceptualised using critical psychological concepts such as 1st person perspectives and participation. The analysis seeks to undertake a discussion of personal meanings attributed to 'traumatisation'. It raises questions as to whether concepts of this kind and related practices may constitute symbolic violence and contribute to victimisation through processes of looping. Furthermore it aims to unfold an understanding inclusive of connections between societal practices, aspects of symbolic violence, and the conduct of lives. The analysis is based on an empirical study of victimisation through rape and other forms of sexualised coercion.


Bodil Pedersen

Specialisation in issues concerning methodology, gender, trauma.




Pedersen, Bodil. 2012. „Trauma and Symbolic Violence – a 1st Person Perspective Approach to Meanings of Sexualised Coercion“. Journal für Psychologie 19 (3).