Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Survivor Rhetoric: Negotiations and Narrativity in Abused Women's Language

Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Survivor Rhetoric: Negotiations and Narrativity in Abused Women's Language

Article excerpt

Christine Shearer-Cremean and Carol Winkelmann, Survivor Rhetoric: Negotiations and Narrativity in Abused Women's Language (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2004), 241 pp. Paper. $24.95/£15. ISBN 0-8020-8641-1. Cloth $60/£40. ISBN 0-8020- 8973-9.

This is a powerful and disturbing book, meticulously edited by Shearer-Cremean and Winkelmann. Various contributors from diverse disciplines have researched different types of abuse against women and unpacked the discourses that frame the way that abuse is talked about, reported and recovered from. This is not an easy read and it can be harrowing at points when the authors report details of the types of abuse suffered by the women whom they have interviewed for their research. What Shearer-Cremean and Winkelmann's book specifically engages with are the languages used and the effects on women and girl victims of having to negotiate for justice and help in healing within a patriarchal society. In the introduction the editors write: 'the analysis of situated language use - for example, the analysis of the language of the criminal justice system - reveals the depth, breadth, and interlocking nature of cultural patterns that sustain the problem of violence against women'(p. …

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