Between discourse and practice: creating the therapeutic subjectivity of the 'young sexual abuser' (Volumes One to Three) - PhDData

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Between discourse and practice: creating the therapeutic subjectivity of the ‘young sexual abuser’ (Volumes One to Three)

The thesis was published by Brownlie, Julie, in September 2022, University of Stirling.


This thesis is an attempt to theorise the therapeutic subjectivity of the ‘young sexual abuser’. It falls into two parts. In the first, I make the case for an ‘analytic bridging’ between Foucauldian and other more broadly sociological perspectives in theorising sexual and therapeutic subjectivities. Specifically, I extend the Foucauldian idea of governmental practices into the therapeutic hour – that is, into the space and tie of therapeutic interaction. At the same tie, I also draw on more sociological readings
about the self in interaction, sexuality and gendered embodient – themes which are
revisited throughout the thesis when looking at chidhood, therapeutic practices and sexual risk. The second part of the thesis presents an empirical analysis of popular, practice and research accounts of ‘problematic’ young people and young sexual abusers; interview data with both ‘young sexual abusers’ and practitioners; and video-recordigs
of a therapeutic programme for sexually abusive boys. Through ths analysis, I argue that the therapeutic subjectivity of the young sexual abuser is actually made up of three emergent subjectivities: the risky self, the victi-victiser and the controlled self. The thesis as a whole contributes to debates withn the sociology of chidhood, includig the relationship between gender, generation and sexual risk; to debates about the relationship
between social theory and analysis of practice; and to debates about subjectification practices in late modernity, particularly with the gendered therapeutic project of sexual control.

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