Signifying harassment: Communication, ambiguity and power

Andrew R. Smith, Jacqueline M. Martinez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


This essay reports on phenomenological research conducted with people who describe having been harassed, having been accused of harassment, and/or having mediated or adjudicated harassment disputes. The authors review recent legal conceptions of sexual harassment and articulate a methodology for analyzing individual narrative accounts. The analysis of six selected interviews (three alleged harassers and three declared harassees) depicts how, through discourse with others, persons in ambiguous cases of harassment come to perceive themselves as harassers or harassees gradually, how intention is inferred from conduct contingently, and how perceptions and expressions are often reified as certainties in the effort to secure some sense of justice institutionally.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-87
Number of pages25
JournalHuman Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Signifying harassment: Communication, ambiguity and power'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this