Grewal, K K. (2017). Racialised gang rape and the reinforcement of dominant order: Discourses of gender, race and nation. A. J. Kershen. 1-195. United Kingdom: Routledge. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315580548
This path-breaking book provides a comparative analysis of public discourses in France and Australia on a series of highly mediatised racialised gang rapes that occurred during the early to mid-2000s. These rapes led to intense public debate in both countries regarding an apparent ‘gang rape phenomenon’ associated with young men of Muslim background. By comparing the responses to similar instances of sexual violence in two very different Western liberal democracies, this book explores the relationship between constructions of national, gender and ethnic identity in modern, developed nations of the West. The impact of immigration and cultural diversity on communities has become an issue of central concern to Western liberal democracies in recent years. With greater movements of people than ever before, and large temporary migrant populations who have not ‘gone home’, the discourse of a ‘crisis of national identity’ is a feature of many democracies in the West. At the same time, in a supposedly ‘post-feminist’ age, the focus of debates around women’s rights in these democracies has increasingly been the extent to which the cultural values of immigrant and ethnic minority populations are compatible with the espoused gender equality of the West. Through an analysis of these rapes, Kiran Kaur Grewal identifies certain commonalities as well as interesting points of divergence within the two nations’ public discourses. In doing so she identifies the limitations of current debates and proposes alternative ways of understanding the tensions at play when trying to respond to acts of extreme sexism and violence committed by members of ethnic minority communities.
Institute for Social Justice
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