Paige Sweet lectures at UIC Institute for the Humanities

The Health and Society Working Group and UIC Institute for the Humanities present:

Paige Sweet
PhD Candidate, UIC Sociology

October 2, 2017 from 2-4 PM
Institute for the Humanities, 701 South Morgan, Lower Level
Stevenson Hall, University of Illinois at Chicago

The Paradox of Legibility: Domestic Violence and Institutional Survivorhood 

Drawing on 18 months of interview and archival research, this project explores how, in order to be legible to the increasingly medicalized anti-violence field, domestic violence victims face pressure to narrate and perform psychological recovery. Women learn to tell stories of intimate violence in a way that makes sense to domestic violence agencies, to courts, to child services, and to immigration authorities. Because these institutions often understand domestic violence as a kind of disease in need of cure, women mold their experiences into narratives of individualized, psychological recovery. These demands create a paradox of legibility: to become a legitimate domestic violence survivor and secure resources from institutions, women must tell stories of psychological survival, even as those very stories erase the structural contexts of victimization and survival.

To request accommodations, please contact huminst@uic.edu or 312-996-6354.