Between the Personal and the Political—Arab (Israeli) Women Talk About Incest: A Psychoanalytic Perspective of Qualitative Study

Ofrit Shapira-Berman*, Doaa Ibrahim

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

UNLABELLED: Although Western culture has long since acknowledged the high prevalence of sexual abuse of children and women, traditional cultures often lag behind in this regard.

OBJECTIVES: To describe the experiences of Arab Israeli women who have survived incest.

METHOD: Ten Arab-Israeli women who were subjected to incest, were interviewed, using an in-depth semistructure interview. The interviews were analyzed using a qualitative-thematic analysis.

RESULTS: Qualitative-thematic analysis of both explicit and implicit contents was applied to reveal linguistic structures the authors identify as related to the women's life experiences. The findings point to the experience of multiple exiles-from their mother's tongue, bodies, and subjectivity. The authors have identified the following themes: (a) usage of the plural first-body voice; (b) referring to one's self in a masculine voice; and (c) shifting between three languages (Arabic, Hebrew, and English. These themes are discussed in light of psychoanalytic literature and that which is concerned with sexual and psychic trauma.

CONCLUSIONS: Arab-Israeli women seem to lead life as double victims-of both the patriarchal hegemony of men, within the Arab community, and as a minority within the Israeli society. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)10-20
Number of pages11
JournalPsychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy
Volume16
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022. American Psychological Association

Keywords

  • Israeli-Arab women
  • incest
  • linguistic-structures
  • psychoanalysis
  • sexual trauma

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