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Title: Making sexual selves :a qualitative study of lesbian and gay youth
Authors: Coleman-Fountain, Edmund
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: Drawing on data collected from nineteen qualitative semi-structured interviews with young lesbians and gay men, this thesis addresses the construction of sexual selves by those young people interviewed for this Ph.D. project. The interviews were conducted between January and December 2008. Participants were aged from sixteen to twenty-one, and all were living in the North-East of England at the time. This project is situated within what is considered to be a moment of social change in respect of the construction of lesbian and gay identities, notably due to the ‘normalization’ of those identities. This is a period in which the young lesbians and gay men interviewed for this project may be seen as growing up and coming out in. The study itself explores the ways in which the young people interviewed developed a sense of themselves as sexual, asking about the significance of lesbian and gay identities in the construction of those selves. Theoretically, a symbolic interactionist perspective is adopted, this project exploring the ‘everyday’ processes through which sexual selves were made and maintained. The data collected suggested a number of complex reflexive debates in which the young lesbians and gay men came to understand themselves as sexual. Addressing issues of desire and intimacy, the adoption of sexual identities, negotiations of sameness and difference, and the telling of sexual lives, this thesis discusses the complex, and at times paradoxical, ways in which lesbian and gay sexual selves were made.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

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