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Retrieving and Constructing Memory: The Use of Creative Writing by Women Survivors of Sexual Abuse

Green Lister, Pam (2002) Retrieving and Constructing Memory: The Use of Creative Writing by Women Survivors of Sexual Abuse. In: Narrative, Memory and Life Transitions. University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, pp. 43-52.

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      Memory is our means of the constructing the past and present and constructing a
      self and versions of experience we can live with, to doubt is to doubt ourselves,
      yet doubt we must for it is treacherous (Greene, 1991, p.293)
      This chapter draws on my research into women survivors’ use of creating
      writing in which I found that women survivors used writing broadly to break
      silence, as therapy and as autobiography. Its focus is on the exploration of
      memory through writing, one element in the process undertaken by women
      survivors to create an autobiography. Memory loss and retrieval have been
      core concerns of survivors and therapists working in the field of sexual abuse.
      Exploring memory is a central theme in the writings of survivors. However
      there are feminist critical concerns that survivors’ accounts of abuse adopt an
      unreflexive approach to memory. In the light of the debates about the way
      memory is conceptualised in survivors’ accounts, I will explore how one
      woman in my study described her use of writing to retrieve memory and
      construct a chronology of her childhood.

      Item Type: Book Chapter
      Additional Information: Copyright for chapters remain with individual authors at all times and permission should be sought from the author for any reproduction other than for personal use.
      Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
      H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
      B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
      Schools: School of Human and Health Sciences > Narrative and Memory Research Group > Narrative and Memory Research Group Annual Conference
      School of Human and Health Sciences
      Related URLs:
      Depositing User: Cherry Edmunds
      Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2009 09:35
      Last Modified: 30 Jul 2010 14:19


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