'A different kind of girl' : young women's experiences of growing up and 'coming out' in Northern IrelandNeill, Gail Ann 2016 (has links)
This study explores the experiences of young women, growing up and coming out as other than heterosexual in contemporary Northern Ireland as a means of examining ways in which sexualities are 'organised through economic, religious, political, familial and social conditions' (Plummer, 2003:515). Informed by an interactionist approach it considers the 'everyday' ways in which young women construct non-conventional sexualities within a hostile social context, and how their interactions with significant others, particularly through processes of coming out, shape constructions of difference. It further explores their experiences with key social institutions and their influence on the construction of personal identity and sense of self in society. In seeking to hear the experiences of those regularly overlooked within LGBT research, a feminist methodology was implemented. The research suggests a number of ways in which young women understand their sexual selves, the categorization used to explain this to others and the range of ways in which these identities are managed and negotiated in everyday life. It demonstrates that age and gender are crucial in the construction of sexual identities. Based on developmental age-related assumptions about sexuality, young women's same-sex attractions are often discredited and demeaned during this period. Further, so closely tied are expectations regarding gender and sexuality that non-heterosexual young women can experience profound feelings of 'difference' and 'failure' growing up as a ‘different kind of girl'. Overall the research demonstrates the prevalence of normative gendered heterosexuality in contemporary Northern Ireland. Such norms conferring status on particular presentations of selfhood were reflected, reproduced and privileged across many institutions with which young women interact. The pervasiveness of this, and the authority of these institutions at a time when young people are so heavily involved in, and monitored by them, it is demonstrated, makes experiences of growing up and 'coming out' complex.
'Normalized absence, pathologised presence' : understanding the health inequalities of LGBT people in GreeceGiannou, Dimitra 2017 (has links)
Homophobia and transphobia are two main modes of oppression affecting LGBT people. These interlinked forms of oppression make LGBT people feel disempowered, discriminated, and marginalized. Although there is a comprehensive body of literature exploring the impact of oppression on this part of the population, sexual orientation and gender identity are not yet highly recognised as factors of health inequalities. Respectively, health care services have been structured within a homophobic and transphobic society resulting unavoidably in important barriers and poor quality of health care for LGBT people. Internationally, there is a growing number of health studies that outline the ways homophobia and transphobia construct health inequalities for LGBT people. Being the first of its kind in Greece, this study aims at contributing to this body of knowledge by providing an opportunity to LGBT people in Greece to describe for themselves their realities in the public domain. To this end, an ethnographic approach was employed in drawing upon observations and interviews with LGBT groups and LGBT individuals, as well as with doctors, which facilitated a rich understanding of the ways that homophobia and transphobia violate LGBT health rights. The findings of this study revealed that the health inequalities of LGBT people in Greece can be founded upon Phoenix’s couplet “normalized absence, pathologised presence” (Phoenix, 1987). Invisibility in its many dimensions is undeniably interrelated with LGBT participants’ experience of (low quality) health care (services) and is a recurring issue noted in every pattern of homophobia and transphobia I discuss throughout this thesis. Within a culture of silence and invisibility, the very system of ideas that historically pathologise LGBT people, is after all fostered. These findings are of value to those who want to promote the accessibility and the quality of health care services that LGBT people deserve. My suggestion is that in order to achieve these two goals, we should on the one hand overcome the invisibility of LGBT people, and comprehend the real notion of being discriminated, on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity on the other. Unless we efficiently address such critical goals, ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender identity’ as bases of discrimination will remain abstract terms in official documents regarding health rights.
Claiming the right to health for women who have sex with women : analysing South Africa's National Strategic Plans on HIV and STIsDaly, M. F. 2015 (has links)
Introduction: Evidence has emerged that women who have sex with women (WSW) in South Africa face multiple vulnerabilities to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV. This health policy analysis seeks to understand why and how interventions to improve sexual health of WSW were initially proposed in the HIV & AIDS and STI Strategic Plan for South Africa 2007-2011, what was implemented and how issues were reframed in the National Strategic Plan (NSP) on HIV, STIs and TB 2012-2016. Methodology: Qualitative methods were used to analyse changes over time in policy discourse around WSW sexual health. A conceptual framework considered four factors determining political priority setting for WSW issues in NSP development processes: actor power, ideas, political context and issue characteristics. 25 semi-structured key informant interviews were conducted in South Africa in 2013 and findings were triangulated through document analysis. Results: Breakthrough in participation in policy making on HIV/AIDS in 2007 enabled the women’s sector of the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) to present testimony from WSW affected by HIV. Policy content of the 2007-2011 NSP included WSW issues but no activities were implemented in the public health system. Policy actors were mandated to redevelop an evidence based NSP for 2012-2016 and discourse on key populations vulnerable to HIV, including men who have sex with men (MSM), shaped policy content. Data on HIV and STIs among WSW existed but resources to disseminate or undertake further research were limited. The SANAC LGBTI sector, created to represent community interests, became preoccupied with MSM programming. Focus on WSW was not maintained in the 2012-2016 NSP due to limited health metrics, limits on participation and growing social conservatism. Conclusion: In the future advocates must reiterate rights based arguments on the vulnerabilities of WSW and call for a revised research agenda on the epidemiology of WSW sexual health.
This thesis is the first detailed academic study of non-metropolitan men who desired other men in England during the period 1895-1957. It places issues of class, masculinity and regionality alongside sexuality in seeking to understand how men experienced their emotional and sexual relationships with each other. It argues that fluid notions of sexuality were rooted in deeply embedded notions of class and region. The thesis examines the six decades from 1895 to 1957 in an attempt to explore patterns of change over a broad period and uses a wide variety of sources such as legal records, newspapers, letters, social surveys and oral histories to achieve this. Amongst northern working men, 'normality' and 'good character' were not necessarily disrupted by same sex desire. As long as a man was a good, reliable worker, many other potential transgressions could be forgiven or overlooked. This type of tolerance of (or ambivalence to) same sex desire was shaken by affluence and the increased visibility of men with a clear sexuality from the 1950s and into the era of decriminalisation. The thesis analyses patterns of work, sex, friendship and sociability throughout the period to understand how these traditions of tolerance and ambivalence were formed and why they eventually came to an end. Although the impact of affluence and decriminalisation had countless positive effects both for working people in general and men who desired other men specifically, the thesis will acknowledge that this impact irrevocably altered a way of life and of understanding the world.
Bodies that stutter : impersonality, desire, jouissance and the gay male subject in contemporary mediaLongstaff, Gareth 2015 (has links)
This thesis examines the formation of ’Bodies that Stutter’ in instances of gay male photographic, pornographic, and networked online media. It argues that these bodies can be understood through the concepts of metonymy and impersonality allied to jouissance in the work of Jacques Lacan, which is informed by earlier Freudian approaches to homosexual identity and desire. It also uses post-Lacanian and queer theory to argue that when the representational exchanges between an Imaginary other and Symbolic Other intersect they facilitate impersonal desire through how ‘Bodies that Stutter’ and the processes of Symbolic-stuttering aligned to them. The thesis draws upon close analytical readings of three contextual instances: representational practices and uses of the website dudesnude.com; pornographic output produced by Triga Films; and sexually explicit representation primarily connected to ‘selfie’s’ posted in micro-blogs on the website tumblr.com. The analysis of these examples closely engage with Lacan’s concept of jouissance alongside of the Symbolic as a way of demonstrating that personal, metaphoric, and identity based models of gay desire are formed on the basis of how metonymic and impersonal modes of identification simultaneously facilitate and operate as jouissance. This close analysis claims that impersonal desire is formed through the Symbolic Other and Imaginary other in the formation of jouissance. More specifically it argues that recent critical and cultural studies use of Lacanian analysis misrecognises the dynamics of an impersonality of male gay desire and the ways in which it Symbolically-stutters. This thesis also illustrates that the convergence of metaphoric identity in the Imaginary and its metonymic displacement in the Symbolic intersect to facilitate the emergence of this form of jouissance which also stutters. This pursuit of jouissance through the rhetoric of visual representation results in ‘Bodies that Stutter’ impersonally. Yet this impersonality is also connected to the potentials of enigmatic signification and self-shattering of the ego as ways of expressing desire. By locating gay sex, sexuality, and masculinity outside of this Imaginary ego or that which is imagined as uniquely gay it illustrates that it is the gay subjects loss of Imaginary identity that energises them as ‘Bodies that Stutter’ and informs their jouissance through processes of Symbolic-stuttering. Through these interventions and in the concluding parts of the thesis it is claimed that Symbolic-stuttering may form a way for gay male sexual desire to be articulated through an intangible form of impersonal desire. It is here that the loss of jouissance in the Symbolic is the force for sexual desire, a desire which is ultimately impersonal.
In the shadow of the gay capital : lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans equalities in 'rural' and 'non-urban' East SussexMcGlynn, Nick 2014 (has links)
The Equality Act 2010 ended a decade of legislation addressing discrimination and social exclusion on the basis of gender or sexual difference. This was followed by the economic and social climate of ‘austerity’ under the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government. I bring together social policy scholars who have critically interrogated austerity and the Conservative ‘Big Society’, with geographers of sexualities who have challenged rural imaginaries of sexual and gendered oppression. Using poststructural approaches to space, sexuality, the state and society, I understand such phenomena to be fluid, porous and co-constitutive, and aim to explore public sector/community partnership work for LGBT equalities in rural and non-urban areas.
Conceptualisation and psychometric validation of a new measure of ambivalent homoprejudice towards gay menBrooks, Ashley S. 2016 (has links)
Prejudice towards gay men has almost exclusively been characterised as hostility. However, myriad other groups have been found to be targets hostile and benevolent (i.e., ambivalent) prejudice. Scholars have attempted to conceptualise ambivalent prejudice towards sexual minorities, but they are based on uncertain theoretical foundations. The aims of the current programme of research were, therefore, to develop a novel theory of ambivalent prejudice towards gay men in light of emerging literature, to further develop and nuance the nascent constructs of adversarial, repellent, romanticised, and paternalistic homoprejudice using qualitative methods, to develop a scale with which to measure the endorsement of such prejudice in the United Kingdom, and to provide evidence outlining the measure’s psychometric utility. A series of three empirical studies consisting of a focus group study on heterosexuals (n = 12) and gay men (n = 10), a large-scale survey study (n = 801), and a study of test-retest reliability (n = 131) were undertaken in order to address these aims. The qualitative findings corroborated and elaborated upon the initial theory development, suggesting that it offers a valid theoretical alternative to other theories. The exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses, and construct validation produced a multidimensional measure comprising the constructs identified in the earlier theory development and qualitative study. The proposed factor structure demonstrated good model fit and each subscale demonstrated good convergent, discriminant, and known-groups validity as well as good internal consistency and temporal stability. Altogether, these findings challenged competing theories’ accounts of attitudinal ambivalence towards gay men, offered a novel reconceptualization of these attitudes that was well-grounded in both data and theory, and produced a measurement tool with promising psychometric utility. Directions for future research such as further scale validation and behavioural studies are proposed and the implications of these findings on theory in this area is outlined.
The making of a gay Muslim : social constructions of religion, sexuality and identity in Malaysia and BritainMohd Sidik, Shanon Shah 2015 (has links)
This study challenges many popular views and some academic perspectives on the role of Islam and gay sexuality in personal identity construction. By investigating the lived experiences of Muslim sexual minorities, it examines the complex ways in which individuals can come to identify themselves as ‘gay’ and ‘Muslim’, how they negotiate belonging to the wider society that tends to marginalise them, and the consequences of holding these identities. It examines their experiences in two national contexts – Malaysia and Britain. Based on ethnographic research conducted between October 2012 and September 2013, this study involved participant observation and in-depth interviews with gay Muslims, supplemented by media analysis for context-setting. The study shows that in constructing their sexual and religious identities, gay Muslims adjust their responses – rebelling, conforming, innovating, retreating or merely keeping up appearances – based on how strongly anti-gay or anti-Muslim sentiments inform their immediate surroundings. As a minority within the religious majority in Malaysia, they contend with religiously-motivated, state-sanctioned moral policing. In Britain, they enjoy legal protection as sexual and religious minorities but are sometimes affected by stereotypes equating Islam with violence or extremism. In both countries, these conditions contribute to Islam becoming a primary referent in the construction of gay Muslim identities. However, gay Muslims form their own religious self-understandings through engagement with multiple social authorities, spaces and available interpretations of Islam. Islam therefore becomes a ‘cultural resource’ while the concept of ‘gay’ serves as an umbrella category in the construction of their self-identities. The outcomes of this study challenge the notions that Islam is ‘inherently’ homophobic and that there is essentially a divide between ‘Islam’ and the ‘West’. Rather, it suggests that the experiences of gay Muslims illustrate the fluid and variable roles of religion and sexuality in constructions of individual and collective identity.
The relationship between nationhood and sexuality has been increasingly examined in recent years, both in academia and by activists. This thesis analyses UK discourses on LGBT asylum in this context, focussing on heterogeneous corpora ranging from Home Office directives to media narratives. A first chapter is dedicated to a conceptualisation of LGBT asylum as a social problem; doing so, it conceives of the social problem as a travelling concept that can be applied productively in post-structuralist discourse theory. A threefold argument is built using this methodology. Firstly, the second chapter demonstrates how LGBT asylum is a central part of a larger discursive environment, which articulates human rights with a civilisation-related discourse linking sexual tolerance to modernity and liberalism. This chapter argues that LGBT asylum rights and the asylum seekers themselves bear particular significance in these larger discourses for they provide examples of victims of non-Western sexual intolerance that allow for the repetition of narratives about civilisation. The third chapter examines the consequences of these discursive articulations on how asylum is managed by the state. It proposes that the biopolitics of asylum are based on an apparatus of recognition of LGBT subjects that owes much to homonationalist representations. Finally the fourth and last chapter examines more closely the production of LGBT asylum seekers’ subjectivities by focusing on the testimonial speeches that can be found in news media and NGO discourses. It argues that testimonies are part of a discursive economy in which the testimonies' truthfulness has a value that is used strategically by competing enunciators in public arenas. By engaging with the testimonial production of victims to be saved by the liberal state, this part makes connections between findings from the previous chapters. It concludes by looking at potential subversions of this discursive economy in an art project with lesbian asylum seekers.
Much recent work on bisexual subjectivities has taken a discourse analytic approach to exploring how bisexual identity is discursively produced as paradoxical, and why it is so difficult to articulate a culturally intelligible bisexual subjectivity. This thesis responds to such work by suggesting that a move towards a multi-modal methodological approach, with a focus on the features of the lifeworld, might enable participants to articulate accounts of bisexual subjectivity as experienced in material, spatial, embodied, temporal, and intersubjective, terms. Accordingly, the thesis asks the question ‘how are bisexual subjectivities experienced and produced in bisexual spaces?’ Fieldwork was conducted at a BiCon, UK bisexual convention, in 2008, and the data presented here is based on the results of two studies which used creative and visual methods (photography, mapping, and modelling) to elicit discourse about lived experiences of bisexual subjectivity in a bisexual space, and how these related to everyday life. A hermeneutic phenomenological approach was taken to the analysis of the data produced. The study argues that the everyday bisexual subject, as constructed in dominant cultural discourses, can be theorised as a Trickster figure, characterised by excess and inauthenticity. BiCon, meanwhile, can be theorised as a heterotopic place-event, during which bisexuality is held constant as the default sexual identity within the space. This provides BiCon attendees with an opportunity to temporality resolve the paradox of bisexual subjectivity. For some participants, BiCon serves as a carnivalesque space where they can enjoy a brief respite from the contradictions of bisexuality. For others, BiCon is a place to gather resources for personal and social transformation.
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