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Schwitter, Beatrice (2008). ’Erst mit Siebzig erlebte ich meinen ersten Höhepunkt’. Zur Produktion von sozialem Wissen in der Schweiz durch die Kolumne der ‚Lieben Marta’, 1980-1995. In: Langreiter, Nikola; et al. Wissen und Geschlecht. Beiträge der 11. Arbeitstagung der Kommission für Frauen- und Geschlechterforschung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Volkskunde, Wien, Februar 2007. Wien: Verlag des Instituts für Europäische Ethnologie, 121-132.

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In her advice column in the bestselling Swiss tabloid "Blick", Marta Emmenegger discussed, between 1980 and 1995, intimate matters from the reader letters addressed to her. In this paper, I will present some of these letters and ask what position "Dear Marta" has been ascribed by the writers. Knowledge of sexuality might be considered general knowledge, because it refers to problems relevant to all members of society. But although this knowledge is relevant to everybody, experts like "Dear Marta" have become crucial for its production and distribution. Indeed, the development of knowledge of sexuality belongs to a genealogy of sexual discourses as discussed by Michel Foucault. Marta's eminent educating role is frequently asserted in the reader letters. This essay then focuses specifically on the autobiographical part of the reader letters, in which authors retrospectively narrate their life stories. Autobiographical writing implies the production and defence of "knowlegde of oneself", which, moreover, is often dealt with in gender specific ways. Women more frequently than men seem to write in an accusing tone of voice, and their life stories are characterised by gender specific aspects. Women often report on humiliation and violence within intimate relationships, incorporating their experiences into tales of shipwreck. Often, these authors do not even ask for advice, but their letters are accumulative evidence of injustice. In this sense, they might be considered acts of self-assertion.


Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, not refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Social Anthropology and Cultural Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:790 Sports, games & entertainment
390 Customs, etiquette & folklore
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology
Deposited On:17 Dec 2008 15:15
Last Modified:04 May 2016 09:31
Publisher:Verlag des Instituts für Europäische Ethnologie
Series Name:Veröffentlichungen des Instituts für Europäische Ethnologie der Universität Wien
Official URL:http://euroethnologie.univie.ac.at
Related URLs:http://aleph.unibas.ch/F/?local_base=DSV01&con_lng=GER&func=find-b&find_code=SYS&request=004647956

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