'seduction': A Pattern of Interpretation

Friday, July 18, 2014: 4:00 PM
Room: Booth 60
Oral Presentation
Maria POHN-WEIDINGER , Institute of Sociology, Vienna, Austria
My talk centres on the ways in which experiences of sexualized violence are dealt with biographically; an experience of violence, which, in the context of National Socialism, for the biographer was raised to the fear of being killed. This fear of being killed is an expression of the real – and fantasized - potential of their National Socialist parents to annihilate experienced by children. The biographical case construction I want to present concerns the life story of a woman born in 1928. Her socialization took place in a family with National Socialist values and within Nazi institutions, and she experienced sexualized violence as a child, by her father and a priest. Based on the diary written by the biographer from 1944 to 1954, and on her life story told 60 years later, I want to show in which manner the biographer addresses her suffering from sexualized violence and her past experience as a young National Socialist believer in her diary, and to which discursive patterns of interpretation her discussion of these issues is bound. My particular focus will be the interpretative pattern of ‘seduction’, which is structured along gender relationships. With it, the biographer manages to work through her experiences of sexualized violence as well as to embed her National Socialist convictions into her biography after 1945. It is important to take a closer look at two aspects: in which specific way does this pattern of interpretation unfold over the course of a life? And in which way does it enable her to speak about her experience? The pattern of interpretation of ‘seduction’ allows her to discuss the charged experience of sexualized violence, but also to obscure and to deny her own participation in Nazi society as a teenager, as well as her fear of being killed.