The discursive framing of sexual harassment in a university community

  • Eyre L
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Sexual harassment in university communities is, at best, understood as the exercise of power by deviant individuals and is dealt with through sexual harassment policies, grievance procedures, reprimands and educational measures. Through a discursive analysis of one case of sexual harassment, this article illustrates how power is not merely attached to specific individuals. Rather, university communities provide the conditions under which sexual harassment is naturalised. The article illustrates how conservative and liberal discourses of academic freedom, juridical interpretations of collective agreements, and anti-feminist backlash discourses shaped knowledge in the public domain, while the voices of women students and feminist discourses on sexual harassment were either marginalised or silenced. The article supports the view that the discursive framing of sexual harassment constitutes power relations in the academy and ultimately legitimises sexual harassment. The article offers some discursive strategies for dealing with sexual harassment in university communities. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

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  • Linda Eyre

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