Making Sense of Sexual Harassment Over Time: Young Women’s and Nonbinary People’s Accounts in 2000 and 2021

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The #metoo movement and various other social media campaigns have made sexual harassment increasingly visible in recent years. Such collective practices of naming and thereby resisting sexual harassment have been made possible by feminist discourses that have enabled the linking of personal experiences to gendered social structures. In this paper, we examine temporal shifts in young people's accounts of sexual harassment based on two datasets generated by 15-16-year-old girls and nonbinary people which were collected 20 years apart (2000 and 2021) in Finland. We draw on poststructuralist discourse theory, intersectionality and Sara Ahmed's writings on complaints in analysing the participants' positions in relation to sexual harassment. Notably, in the 2000 dataset, the participants emphasized individual agency and responsibility, whereas in the 2021 dataset, they acknowledged gendered and intersectional patterns in victimization and actively resisted victim-blaming and silencing. We conclude that the positions the participants held in the two datasets differ specifically in the extent to which they are informed by feminist discourses and the extent to which sexual harassment is seen as warranting and legitimating complaint.
TidskriftNORA - Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research
Sidor (från-till)367-380
Antal sidor14
StatusPublicerad - 2023
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


  • 5144 Socialpsykologi

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