“What happened when you came to Sweden?”
Attributing responsibility in police interviews with alleged adolescent human trafficking victims
Depicted as someone without agency, with no free will and completely in the hands of the trafficker, the ideal trafficking victim can be seen as diametrically different from the guilty prostitute. By analysing how responsibility and victimhood are negotiated in forensic interviews with alleged adolescent trafficking victims, this article scrutinises this image by asking how victim-status is handled when questions turn to sex and prostitution and which interactive and narrative conditions, related to agency, stake and interest, apply for talk in this specific institutional setting. Our findings suggest that in order to sort out the “real” victims, the interviewer need to pull apart the two categories victim and prostitute even if there may be substantive problems with this clear-cut distinction since the categories tend to blend together. Further, talk about sex can be problematic for the interactants as it may undermine the victim narrative instead creating a subject with interests.
Keywords: ideal victim, stake, narrative analysis, human trafficking, responsibility, categorization
Published online: 24 November 2014
Cited by other publications
Hiitola, Johanna & Teija Hautanen
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