The power of unsilencing: Between silence and negotiation in heterosexual relationships

This article proposes an analysis of the social process of unsilencing in the specific context of heterosexual relationships. Unsilencing is the process in which an individual woman becomes empowered to the extent of voicing what is silenced by structural hierarchies that shape her experiences of the heterosexual relationships she is involved in. I connect the process of unsilencing to the sociological notion of “negotiated order” and a feminist notion of the self as fragmented and continually changing. Unsilencing is conceived as a response to power operating on three levels: emotional connection that empowers a contesting meaning structure; a process of distancing that empowers the individual in overcoming positioning processes; and an increased sense of authenticity in relation to the set of emotional management, language and beliefs embedded in the contesting meaning structure
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DOI 10.1111/1468-5914.00203
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Bronwyn Davies & Rom Harré (1990). Positioning: The Discursive Production of Selves. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 20 (1):43–63.

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