Intro to Women's Studies
December 15, 2005
But Was She Really Lucky?
" but I had begun to notice that I was now on the other side of something they could not understand. I didn't understand it myself." And so begins the quest for reason and explanation in the case of Alice Sebold's rape. As she delves further and further into her story we can find many things discussed in the course of our semester in this class. Why was she raped? Why did her family and friends respond the way they did? We may not find answers to these questions, but if we look closer we may find some sort of help in determining an explanation not only for Alice, but for ourselves.
In her memoir, Alice talks about her family before and after the rape. First I want to examine the social construction of her family as a whole. The family, as defined by John J. Macionis, is "a social institution found in all societies that unites people into cooperative groups to oversee the bearing and raising of children" (462). So, as it pertains to Alice's family, her parents were the "cooperative group" and Alice and her sister Mary were the children that are "born and raised" by the cooperative group. There are a couple different functions of the family, two of which include socialization and social placement. Socialization can be defined as "the lifelong social experience by which individuals develop their human potential and learn culture" (Macionis 115). Socialization is therefore imperative to a person's growth as a human being; without social experience, a child is incapable of thought, emotion, or meaningful action (Macionis, 115). So in the family setting, it is our parents that teach us this socialization. They teach us to think, feel, and act. In Alice's case, she and Mary were in fact socialized by their parents, but in a somewhat unorthodox way (although one could argue that being raised with one parent who is an alcoholic is not exactly...