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Sexualiserade rykten - en del av vardagen?: En studie av några unga kvinnors förhållningssätt till rykten.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, Comparative Religion and Gender Studies.
2006 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The purpose of this thesis is to understand the ways in which rumors affect the everyday lives of a few young women. The questions are: What kinds of rumors do the young women find are the most common? How do they respond to these rumors? Do the rumors affect their everyday lives and if so, how do they react to them? Do they resist them? Do they feel limited by them?

The empirical data was collected through unstructured interviews (focus groups) with three groups. The groups discussed different themes without prompting questions by the interviewer and it was clear that rumors played an important role, in multiple ways, in the lives of the young women. The most common rumors were sexualized and were mostly concerned with the view that the young women should not engage in “too many” heterosexual relations – preferably none. The meaning and significance of rumors fluctuated from different public and private places but the connecting link was that they were used as a means of controlling the young women’s sexuality (including making and maintaining it heterosexual).

Rumors implied norms for the expected behavior of the young women, which would be expressed through normative opinions about clothes, looks, and behaviors in order to prevent rumors. It also involved the women being compelled to avoid certain public places and to be outdoors during certain hours because even these situations could lead to rumors. In numerous ways various factors were correlated and led to many of the young women feeling limited and adapting to the norms in order to avoid being the subjects of more rumors. This led to a limitation of ways they could act and a decrease in places they could go. Rumors played an important role in terms of the possibilities these young women had to move and act in public and in terms of their sexual subjectivity. The resistance against rumors was mostly noted in the young women’s questioning of the structures that allow differing possibilities and opportunities of action depending on one’s gender.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [sv]
unga kvinnor, sexualiserade rykten, oskuld, kön, genus, sexualitet, heteronormativitet, etnicitet, media, fokusgrupp
National Category
Gender Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-933OAI: diva2:200669
Available from: 2006-03-21 Created: 2006-03-21Bibliographically approved

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