The Importance of Violence for Former Female Right-Wing Extremists

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 15:00
Location: Seminarraum Geschichte 1 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Johanna SIGL, Georg-August-University of Goettingen, Germany
The importance of violence for former female right-wing extremists

From the perspective of gender construction, the topics of right-wing-extremism and violence seem to be highly male-dominated. Both fields are dominated by heteronormative masculinity constructions. Including women, who are engaged in the extreme right, into the analysis enlarges this perspective and provides an insight into the construction of gender as well as into the subjective meaning of violent action.

Based on biographical-narrative interviews with women who gave up their engagement with the far right and based on the findings of biographical case-reconstructions I will argue that violent action has different meanings for those women.

The references to violent action depend on the various biographical and historical contexts in which the young women first got engaged with the far right and the contexts in which they distanced themselves later on.

Dissociating from the extreme right can include a break with violent action and self-presentation – but it does not have to. Violent self-presentation can be maintained up to the present despite the statement of dissociating from the extreme right.

In addition, my paper aims to challenge the gender role stereotypes, which are currently determining the research on right-wing extremism. I’d like to increase the sensitivity for the diversity of biographies from female dropouts and contribute to a research perspective that takes into account the complex interdependencies of violent actions and gender constructions.