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Gay men's identity work and the social construction of discrimination

Greenland, Katy ORCID: and Taulke-Johnson, Richard 2017. Gay men's identity work and the social construction of discrimination. Psychology and Sexuality 8 (1-2) , pp. 81-95. 10.1080/19419899.2017.1311934

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Although the lives of gay men in the post-closet generation are easier in many ways, everyday discrimination still exists in the forms of heterosexism and microaggressions. These forms of discrimination are difficult and risky to talk about, partly because they are often ambiguous, and also because these conversations can disrupt the status quo. In this paper, we explore how the idea of ‘discrimination’ is more complex than it might first appear, and how the boundaries between ‘discrimination’ and ‘not discrimination’ are socially constructed. We conducted qualitative interviews with 15 undergraduate students who self-identified as gay men, and used dialogical analysis to explore their identity work. Participants constructed discrimination/not discrimination in different ways as they shifted between different I− positions: I− as authentic individual, I− as what I am not (not camp and not a victim), and I− as powerful. Our analysis indicates the extent to which ‘discrimination’ is socially constructed (rather than an objective reality), and suggests means by which practitioners and advocates can support clients in talking about discrimination.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Uncontrolled Keywords: Discrimination, identity, attribution, stigma, heterosexism, homophobia
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
ISSN: 1941-9899
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 8 June 2017
Date of Acceptance: 23 March 2017
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2023 05:38

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