Women Voicing Resistance: Discursive and narrative explorations, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Women Voicing Resistance

Discursive and narrative explorations, 1st Edition

Edited by Suzanne McKenzie-Mohr, Michelle N. Lafrance


212 pages

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Feminist scholars have demonstrated how ‘dominant discourses’ and ‘master narratives’ frequently reflect patriarchal influence, thereby distorting and depoliticizing women’s storying of their own lives. In this groundbreaking volume a number of internationally recognized researchers, working across a range of disciplines, provide a detailed examination of women’s attempts to counter-story their lives when prevailing discourses are unhelpful or, indeed, harmful. As such, it is an exploration of women’s agency and resistance, which highlights the challenges and complexities of such discursive work.

The chapters explore women’s resistance across a wide range of experiences, including: intimate partner violence, casual sex, depression, premenstrual change, disordered eating, lesbian identity, women’s work in male-dominated spaces, rape, and child birth. Each chapter combines theoretical analyses with illuminating first-hand accounts, and elaborates practical implications that provide directions for individual and social change.

Providing an incisive and comprehensive exploration of discourse, oppression and resistance, that cuts across domains of women’s everyday lives, Women Voicing Resistance will be of great interest to students, scholars and practitioners in the fields of psychology, gender studies, women’s studies, sociology, and social work.


'Suzanne Mckenzie-Mohr and Michelle La France have assembled a collection of brilliant feminist scholars dedicated to the task of curating the complex embroidery of women's tales of sexuality, depression, coming out, bodies, feeding, rape, pleasure and work. The volume provides an invitation to listen carefully as women try to speak in tongues that curdle our words and betray our affect. Yet within these stories there are also resistant strains which reveal a desire to speak and to challenge, to reveal and to resist.' - Michelle Fine, The Graduate Center, City University of New York, USA

'This collection of essays offers a very rich contribution to the growing study of counter-narratives. In topics ranging from childbirth, to depression, to narratives of violence, the authors bring fine feminist scholarship with important theoretical and political insights to their examination of what makes some stories better – more empowering – than others, reframing dominant narratives in ways which demand a more nuanced way of listening to the stories women tell.' - Molly Andrews, Professor of Political Psychology, University of East London, UK

"Bridging academic scholarship and practical living, this collection creates “counter-stories” of women’s experiences including coming out, childbirth, sexual violence, and depression. Its global scope disrupts traditional dominant narratives. The volume is informative, creative, and liberating providing some good models for future acts of resistance." - The Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual (WATER)

Table of Contents

Lafrance and McKenzie-Mohr, Introduction. DeVault, Language for troubles talk. Jane Ussher & Janette Perz , PMS as a process of negotiation: Women’s strategies of coping and resistance for premenstrual change and distress. Rickett, ‘Girly-girls’, ‘professional women’ and ‘hard women’. Negotiating and resisting hegemonic femininities in non-traditional work space. Boonzaier, Talking against dominance: South African women resisting hegemonic discourse in narratives of violence. Gibson, Beyond coming out: Lesbians’ (alternative) stories of sexual identity told in postapartheid South Africa. Lafrance, Listening between and beyond words: Disrupting discourses in speaking of sadness. Chadwick, Bodies talk: The challenges of hearing childbirth counterstories. Brown, Untangling self-management discourse from women’s body talk: Externalizing the social construction of feelings connected to regulated self-identity. Farvid, "Oh it was good sex!": Desire and pleasure in heterosexual women’s accounts of casual sex. McKenzie-Mohr, Taking up tools for narrative repair: Women’s navigation of the post-rape process toward living well. McKenzie-Mohr and Lafrance, Conclusion.

About the Editors

Suzanne McKenzie-Mohr is Associate Professor in the School of Social Work at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, Canada. Before accepting a faculty position in 2003, Suzanne had been a practicing social worker for 15 years, working with women in a range of fields of practice. Her scholarly interests include women's experiences of rape, trauma and youth homelessness, women’s use of counter-stories in response to oppressive conditions, and narrative care with older adults.

Michelle N. Lafrance is Professor of Psychology at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, Canada. Trained as a clinical psychologist, Michelle's teaching and research interests are in the areas of critical and feminist psychology, including women’s experiences of depression, and the social construction of distress, gender, and sexuality.

About the Series

Women and Psychology

This series brings together current theory and research on women and psychology. Drawing on scholarship from a number of different areas of psychology, it bridges the gap between abstract research and the reality of women's lives by integrating theory and practice, research and policy.

Each book addresses a 'cutting edge' issue of research, covering topics such as postnatal depression and eating disorders, and addressing a wide range of theories and methodologies.

The series provides accessible and concise accounts of key issues in the study of women and psychology, and clearly demonstrates the centrality of psychology debates within women's studies or feminism.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Social Psychology