Tattered textures of kinship: The effects of torture among Iraqi families in Denmark

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Abstract

Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in Denmark, primarily among Iraqi women and secondarily among Iraqi men who are either direct or indirect victims of torture, I explore how the memories of torture are distributed in the everyday lives of Danish families originating from Iraq. I argue that torture is folded into kin histories and the everyday work of bearing and resisting painful memories. Consequently, torture affects not only the mental and physical health of the singular survivor, but also the entire texture of kin relatedness around him or her, to the extent that kinship normativity may be disrupted. Leaning on the metaphor of a rugged cloth, I conclude by arguing that the way in which torture makes and unmakes kin relatedness congeals in what I term tattered textures of kinship.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)553-567
Number of pages15
JournalMedical Anthropology
Volume37
Issue number7
Early online date10 May 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • torture
  • kinship
  • iraq
  • trauma
  • gender
  • Denmark

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