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ERIC Number: ED545498
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 241
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-2675-7330-8
"I Have the Power to Change This": College Women's Agency and Sexual Assault
Germain, Lauren J.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Virginia
Noting the prevalence of sexual violence at American Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs), this study aims to inform discourse on college women's post-assault experiences and perceptions of the institution. Using a feminist, post-structuralist framework, this study examines the narratives of 26 traditionally-aged college women who experienced campus sexual assault (CSA). The following research questions are addressed: 1) What are the forms of college women's agency in the period following an experience of CSA? 2) In what ways do woman who have experienced CSA label these experiences? 3) How are self-constructed labels for experiences of CSA similar to and/or different from institutional definitions and labels? 4) How do women who have experienced CSA understand the role of the institutional estate in these situations? Women's narratives were collected in interviews that ranged from 45-153 minutes in length (mean: 69.9 minutes) and a cyberfeminist reflexive website was used for transparency and to gather participant feedback on the research process. Eight major categories of post-CSA agency were identified: 1) Embodied Agency, 2) Identity Management, 3) Silence, 4) Self-Expression, 5) Pursuit of Individually Defined Justice, 6) Transitive (Informal), 7) Transitive (Formal), and 8) Empowerment. The processes through which women apply formal labels to their experiences are described as pathways to transitive forms of agency. Women's perceptions of the IHEs role relative to CSA are outlined. Finally, implications for future research and suggestions for policy and practice are given. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A