Resistance in Popular Culture: Examples from Mainstream Media

Lissa Samantaraya-Shivji

     Views of victims of family violence as ‘passive’ or ‘compliant’ with the abuse they experience inundate mainstream media. Consistent with the response-based approach, people tend not to notice the ways victims resist abuse. In this workshop, we examine various forms of popular culture – movies, television, music, literature – and examples of resistance. We underscore the main tenets of the approach in efforts to refocus attention on the ways people resist violence and abuse versus the ‘effects’ of violence. We will discuss the influence of language, how it impacts our views of victims, and how powerful these portrayals can be in terms of affecting our social responses to violence.