Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Canaries in the classroom: Intimate terrorism survivors' stories
by Jarvis, Rebecca Lynn, Ph.D., Arizona State University, 2009, 198; 3361860
Abstract (Summary)

The last thirty years has seen the growth of an enormous body of literature on violence against women. Despite the thousands of studies that have been done, we know surprisingly little about the effects of domestic violence, or intimate terrorism, on adult education. Working through a feminist, poststructuralist framework, this dissertation asks the following question: What narratives do women survivors of domestic violence create about their lives, particularly about those experiences that influence their education?

Based on in-depth interviews with seven survivors of intimate terrorism who also, at some point in their lives, had been community college students, this study identified a number of themes in the life stories of the participants: the violence of educational system, anger, victim-blaming, lives as layers of trauma, impact of outside influences, survivors as active agents in control in an uncontrollable world, problems and/or strengths related to PTSD, positive impacts of school and effects on self-image.

These themes were then used to create an ethnodrama, or dramatic script, using the words, stories, and writing of one of the participants. In lieu of more a traditional analysis of these themes, the words and actions of fictional characters and a chorus that brings relevant research material into the conversation are used to provoke questions and analysis in the audience.

The dissertation ends by decrying the mismatch between typical academic discourse in education and the need for survivors of violence against women to retain power and voice in their stories and to use that power and voice to validate and share their experiences, which are often ones of deep anger.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor:
Commitee:
School: Arizona State University
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 70/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Community college education, Womens studies, Educational psychology, Curriculum development
Keywords: Arts-based educational research, Community college, Ethnodrama, Intimate terrorism, Narrative research, PTSD, Posttraumatic stress disorder, Survivors, Trauma studies
Publication Number: 3361860
ISBN: 978-1-109-20168-0
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