Homosexuality and the family

La Placa, V., 2000. Homosexuality and the family. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

10183418.pdf - Published version

Download (33MB) | Preview


This study is an analysis of the social construction of lesbian and gay identities within the immediate family. The analysis draws on the insights obtained from in-depth interviews conducted with 39 individual lesbian and gay respondents and 22 parents. The thesis is organised into six chapters.

In Chapter 1, I review past work on lesbian and gay identity formation and the disclosure of a lesbian or gay identity to members of the family. I argue that past research on lesbian and gay identity formation has not paid sufficient attention to the influence of the family on sexual identity construction. I also argue that past research on lesbians and gays and the family has only focused on initial disclosure of sexual identity to parents. I suggest that we can proceed beyond these limitations by examining the social construction of lesbian and gay identities in the family by focusing on two research themes: the internal theme which explores individual sexual identity formation, coming out to parents and developments in familial relations from initial disclosure to the present; and the external theme which examines lesbian and gays experiences beyond the family, for instance, the lesbian and gay communities and work. It also considers how lesbian and gay involvement beyond the family affects parents. The research is then related to a broad theoretical framework concerning the construction and negotiation of identities in postmodernity.

The methodology for the research is explored in Chapter 2. I review etiological and structural approaches to lesbians and gays and the family and argue that if we are to consider sexual identity and family relationships, then it is best achieved through a qualitative approach based on grounded theory. This approach would focus on meaning, interaction and the negotiation of relationships between lesbians and gays and their families. The design and uses of the research tools, the sampling procedure, the pilot and main studies and data analysis are also outlined.

The findings of the research are reported in Chapters 3, 4 and 5. Chapters 3 and 4 examine the internal theme of the research. Chapter 5 explores the external theme. Finally, three conceptual themes are identified in Chapter 6, based on the findings reported throughout the thesis. This is consistent with the grounded theory approach, which seeks to theorise on the basis of empirical data. Firstly, I suggest that individuals are active strategists in the production of postmodern identities; secondly, family relations are constructed through discourse and social practices; lastly, familial and sexual identities and relationships are constructed in wider contexts beyond the family. The chapter ends by attempting to make some recommendations for further research.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: La Placa, V.
Date: 2000
ISBN: 9781369316193
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 25 Sep 2020 13:46
Last Modified: 23 Aug 2023 13:12
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/40945

Actions (login required)

Edit View Edit View


Views per month over past year


Downloads per month over past year