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Article

Memory Mphaphuli and Gabriele Griffin

The purpose of this paper is to explore the fieldwork dilemmas a young, female, heterosexual, indigenous South African researching everyday negotiations around…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the fieldwork dilemmas a young, female, heterosexual, indigenous South African researching everyday negotiations around heterosexuality within township families encountered in negotiating her own heteroerotic subjectivity within the field.

Design/methodology/approach

A heterosexuality studies approach is here combined with a critical feminist research methodological perspective.

Findings

The paper argues that researchers are often unprepared for having to negotiate their erotic subjectivity within the field and that such negotiations can be compromising to the researcher in a variety of ways.

Practical implications

The paper suggests that more might be done to prepare researchers for negotiating identity aspects such as sexuality in the field since that negotiation impacts on one’s research and the researcher’s sense of self in the field.

Social implications

The paper critically interrogates what negotiating one’s erotic subjectivity in the field might mean.

Originality/value

Little is published on female researchers negotiating their heteroerotic subjectivity in the field. The paper contributes original insights on this from fieldwork carried out by an indigenous heterosexual female researcher in South African townships. It raises important issues about the conduct of fieldwork in (non-)compromising and agentic ways.

Details

Qualitative Research Journal, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1443-9883

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Book part

Nichole Edwards

This chapter aims to advance understandings of agency and embodiment by considering the relationship between identifying as a feminist and choosing to engage in sexually…

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter aims to advance understandings of agency and embodiment by considering the relationship between identifying as a feminist and choosing to engage in sexually submissive practices with men.

Methodology/approach

Thematic analysis of seven feminist-identified women’s solicited diaries and follow-up interviews are paired with a feminist phenomenological framework of agency and embodiment in order to highlight how inhabiting and investing in dominant heterosexual norms is a means of locating oneself in one’s own desires and sexuality.

Findings

Engaging in sexual submission as a feminist can be met with feelings of guilt and a sense of justification; a number of participants questioned whether these sexual choices put their political identity in crisis or open to critique. Others felt that their choice to be submissive warranted no problematization – even if the female, feminist subject inhabits dominant heterosexual norms surrounding what it means to be a woman as defined by heteronormative, patriarchal terms.

Research limitations/implications

The present study is part of a broader PhD project based on heterosexuality and feminism in practice, where choosing submission also occurs between instances of sex (in everyday encounters with men) and beyond the context of sex (within the broader context of a romantic relationship). As such, choosing submission within the context of sex is only one aspect of this much more complex relationship.

Originality/value

This chapter aims to contribute to a growing body of literature that considers the way agency is conceptualized and in doing so, offers empirical evidence to show these theories are applicable to sexual practices as well as understandings of gender and feminism.

Details

At the Center: Feminism, Social Science and Knowledge
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-078-4

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Book part

Karin A. Martin, Katherine P. Luke and Lynn Verduzco-Baker

In this chapter we reinvigorate socialization as a theoretical framework for studying gender and sexuality, and we do so by focusing attention on the sexual socialization…

Abstract

In this chapter we reinvigorate socialization as a theoretical framework for studying gender and sexuality, and we do so by focusing attention on the sexual socialization of young children. We provide an overview of the literature on the sexual socialization of young children. We discuss why researchers should be interested in childhood sexuality, and the role of parents, peers and schools, and the media in sexual socialization. We also address three overarching issues: methodology, the hegemony of heterosexuality, and child sexual abuse. Throughout, we suggest and organize some of the empirical questions that form a research agenda for those interested in this topic.

Details

Social Psychology of Gender
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-7623-1430-0

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Article

Helen Woodruffe‐Burton and Sam Bairstow

The purpose of this paper is to examine the ways in which butch lesbians manage and negotiate their sexual identity in the workplace.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the ways in which butch lesbians manage and negotiate their sexual identity in the workplace.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative study using online ethnographical enquiry to explore lesbians' experiences of performing butch identity in the workplace. Ethical and other issues relating to online ethnographic research are also explored and discussed.

Findings

Identity negotiation is a key issue and lesbians face the constant pressure of identity management. This is not simply a personal perspective but a defence mechanism to counter the heteronormative culture within organisations. Strategies for dealing with these tensions evident in the literature and reflected in this study range from “passing” (passing as a heterosexual) to defying expectations of heteronormativity and remaining constant to individual butch identity.

Practical implications

The paper can assist HRD professionals and leaders in developing organisation cultures which embrace and include difference and help obviate oppression. It may also be of interest to researchers and policy makers in the fields of diversity and equality and LGB issues.

Social implications

The findings here will be of interest to social audiences including LGBT individuals, activist groups and support groups. Wider understanding of female masculinity and butch identity may help leverage greater tolerance and acceptance.

Originality/value

This study responds to calls for more LGBT research in the workplace and organisational context. The findings develop the understanding of identity negotiation in conditions of heteronormativity. It is also argued that this study of the experiences of lesbians in the workplace is positioned as an alternative site of understanding organisations, with learning to offer gendered leadership.

Details

Gender in Management: An International Journal, vol. 28 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2413

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Book part

Alison Dahl Crossley

Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to analyze how young women from diverse national backgrounds adopt or resist feminist identities. This research is founded on…

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to analyze how young women from diverse national backgrounds adopt or resist feminist identities. This research is founded on three questions. First, what role does feminism play in the lives of young women from varying geographical and cultural locations? Second, how do media represent and shape understandings of feminism and enactments of femininity? Third, what is the interplay between the perceived relevance of feminism and focus on heterosexual partnering?

Methodology/approach – The research is based on semistructured individual interviews with 13 women. The theoretical framework is based on social movements, feminist, and postfeminist literature.

Findings – I found that the women adhered to media-fabricated stereotypes of feminists such as bra burners, and that despite their differing cultural backgrounds, they shared strikingly similar understandings of feminism. When asked questions about the film Bridget Jones's Diary, many of the women were conflicted with a simultaneous desire for independence and a yearning for traditional heterosexual relationships. The tensions surrounding tradition and modernity, coupled with the perception that feminism is the purview of lesbians resulted in many of them resisting feminist identities.

Originality/value of chapter – This chapter highlights the complexities and contradictions exhibited by young women negotiating feminist identities. It demonstrates how difficult it is for feminism to change with respect to broader shifts in social life when it is saddled with such monolithic and static stereotypes. We must strongly consider the future of feminism if young women fail to see its relevance to their lives.

Details

Interactions and Intersections of Gendered Bodies at Work, at Home, and at Play
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-944-2

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Book part

Jessica Clark

This paper sets out to analyse both the dominant constructions of childhood and the prevailing sexual scripts embedded in international reports on the sexualisation of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper sets out to analyse both the dominant constructions of childhood and the prevailing sexual scripts embedded in international reports on the sexualisation of childhood debate.

Approach

Four international reports from the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States are analysed using Foucauldian Discourse Analysis whereby the sexual subjecthoods made available to children and images of childhood itself can be interrogated.

Findings

This paper finds that a broad-brush approach to sexualisation renders consumption and embodiment as ‘sexualised’ and problematic. Gender remains unproblematised and sexuality as an issue is palpable by its absence. The reports show a lack of attention to the voices of children and a denial of their moral agency. Innocence is constructed as a fundamental yet unstable feature of childhood which requires protection from the insidious external forces of 21st century sexual cultures. Childhood thus functions as a motif for the state of society as a whole.

Value

Identifying the dominant constructions of childhood, sexualisation, gender and sexuality, by analysing how these concepts are defined, understood and talked about within international responses to the issue of the sexualisation of childhood, light can be shed upon the sanctioned ways made available to ‘do’ sex, gender and sexuality and to ‘be’ a child, a boy, a girl, a ‘sexual’ or a ‘sexualised’ being. In addition, this enables evaluation of the ways in which images of the child are mobilised for policy and political agendas and how childhood functions as both a barometer for, and symbol of, the well-being of a society.

Details

Soul of Society: A Focus on the Lives of Children & Youth
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-060-5

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Book part

Janet Enke

Over 30 years have passed since the enactment of Title IX, the legislation that required all schools receiving federal aid to provide “equal opportunity for both sexes to…

Abstract

Over 30 years have passed since the enactment of Title IX, the legislation that required all schools receiving federal aid to provide “equal opportunity for both sexes to participate in interscholastic, intercollegiate, intramural, and club athletic programs” (East, 1978, p. 213). Since 1972, girls’ and women's sport participation has increased in high schools, colleges and universities, the Olympics, and professional sports. Researchers interested in the study of gender and sport have raised critical questions and conducted empirical research concerning the meanings of masculinity and femininity, the implications of sport participation, the meanings of heterosexuality and homosexuality, gender equity, and media coverage of sports (Dworkin & Messner, 2002). One persistent theme in the literature on girls’ and women's sport participation is the connection between athleticism and femininity. Historically, researchers have used the role conflict perspective or the apologetic defense strategy to examine girls’ sport participation. In this chapter, I analyze athleticism and femininity on a high school basketball team using a third framework.

Details

Sociological Studies of Children and Youth
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-256-6

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Article

C. Beckett

The purpose of this paper is to interrogate ways in which sex and sexual orientation are excluded from the agenda of work relationships in one probation service.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to interrogate ways in which sex and sexual orientation are excluded from the agenda of work relationships in one probation service.

Design/methodology/approach

The research was conducted through conversational interviews with members of a team responsible both for supervision of colleagues and for development of supervisory practice. Straight and lesbian officers responded to a perceived lack of skills to effectively “work with” sexuality issues.

Findings

Responses lead to discussion of the discursive “silence” of sex, and to the specific positioning of lesbian identity. Specifically, it critiques approaches to supervision that do not explicitly value lesbian experience

Research limitations/implications

This small study does not include the voices of black or gay male officers. It also does not explore the experience of bisexuality.

Practical implications

The finding of this research can be used to support development of good supervisory practice.

Social implications

The paper sheds light on day to day interactions that “silence” experience of sexual orientation.

Originality/value

The paper draws on original research interrogating both lesbian and straight experience. In so doing it sheds light on both discursive practices of a sexual agenda and practice issues in supervision.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 31 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

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Book part

D. A. Hutchinson

This chapter disrupts the common notion that identity can be understood through the use of categories. Categorical terms like gay, straight, man, or woman often mask the…

Abstract

This chapter disrupts the common notion that identity can be understood through the use of categories. Categorical terms like gay, straight, man, or woman often mask the complexity of curriculum making and identity-making. Curriculum making and identity-making are narrative terms used to understand the dynamic, relational, and on-going process of making meaning about people, things, contexts, and identity through experience. Identity making, understood narratively as the composition of stories to live by, allows us to image diverse communities, contexts, and experiences that uniquely shape the stories that people live and tell. Inquiring into the experiences of two research participants, I begin the chapter by thinking with Calle’s stories of experience to explore the limited and limiting categorical stories of identity. Then, I consider Jamie’s stories to live by, attending to the role of his contexts and communities in the composition of his stories to live by. In doing so, I seek to further map out the narrative geography of curriculum making and identity-making places and communities for individuals who compose diverse stories to live by. Building on previous research findings that contexts shape the composition of stories to live by as identity is negotiated through these dominant stories as an individual’s ontology, his/her story of the world and self in it, is constituted in part, by these dominant stories; here, I argue that contexts that allow for diverse stories to be told are those that attend to experience rather than clinging to familiar dominant stories.

Details

Landscapes, Edges, and Identity-Making
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-598-1

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Book part

Minjeong Kim

Purpose – This chapter examines the roles of the Unification Church (UC) in reconstructing the discourse of the gendered desire of Filipina marriage migrants and their…

Abstract

Purpose – This chapter examines the roles of the Unification Church (UC) in reconstructing the discourse of the gendered desire of Filipina marriage migrants and their Korean husbands, serving as an intermediary agency in the process of international marriage migration, and reinforcing heterosexual practices as part of a regime of normalization.

Methodology – The chapter is based on 1 year of ethnographic fieldwork that included a review of secondary sources, participant observation, and in-depth interviews with Filipinas and Korean men.

Findings – The chapter shows the ways in which the UC reinforces the dominant discourse of gendered desire that portrays marriage migrants as women who wish to migrate mainly to marry a man who can provide economic stability. Filipina migrants, however, infuse the cultural discourse of romantic love into their decisions about husbands and marriage migration. Lastly, as the UC delineates normative heterosexual practices based on its religious doctrines, the church becomes a “regime of normalization” for traditional patriarchal heteronormativity.

Social implications – The chapter contributes to the idea that gender and sexuality are socially constructed and constitutive of migration.

Originality/value of chapter – The chapter examines not only the matchmaking role of an intermediary agency that facilitates cross-border marriages but also the agency's role in re/constructing gendered desire. Further, the chapter contributes to an understudied area: the social process of reconstructing heteronormativity in a transnational context.

Details

Social Production and Reproduction at the Interface of Public and Private Spheres
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-875-5

Keywords

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