Crisis Narratives and Masculinist Protection: Gendering the Original Stockholm Syndrome
2015 (English)In: International feminist journal of politics, ISSN 1461-6742, E-ISSN 1468-4470, Vol. 17, no 4, 595-610 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Stockholm syndrome, or captor-bonding, is a psychological crisis response to which women are considered especially susceptible. The term was coined in connection with a 1973 hostage situation in Stockholm, Sweden. I argue that the syndrome originally indicated a crisis of state authority. The conception of Stockholm syndrome projected a crisis of the legitimate state onto the women hostages and reinforced connections between state protection, masculinity and physical force. Crisis narratives specifically targeted the women's agency, and the state's protector status was restored by gendering dependency and victimhood. The particular circumstances of the original Stockholm incident were a prerequisite for the syndrome's appearance and continue to inform common understandings and scholarly writing on the syndrome. When crisis discourse appropriates the Stockholm syndrome, a unitary perspective and gendered foundations of state power are reinforced. Possibilities of divergent perspectives and counter-discourses, which are critical to feminist interventions into crisis narratives, are thereby diminished.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 17, no 4, 595-610 p.
Stockholm syndrome, crisis narratives, masculinist protection, gender, trauma response
Research subject Gender Studies
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-121102DOI: 10.1080/14616742.2015.1042296ISI: 000364552100005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-121102DiVA: diva2:856039