Fixing or affirming homosexuality? : A discursive study of identity negotiations of same sex attracted persons within heteronormative Christian faith communities

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http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-202012285490
Title: Fixing or affirming homosexuality? : A discursive study of identity negotiations of same sex attracted persons within heteronormative Christian faith communities
Author: Lydén, Saga
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Research (2010-2017)
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2001
Language: eng
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-202012285490
http://hdl.handle.net/10138/323721
Thesis level: master's thesis
Discipline: Sosiaalipsykologia
Social Psychology
Socialpsykologi
Abstract: This study examines how same sex attracted persons negotiate their identities within or against heteronormative Christian faith communities. An account is given of the general cultural and religious context that same sex attracted persons in Finland are immersed in. Previous research on the same and similar topics is presented, following themes of wellbeing, stigma, identity conflicts, and ways of coping with, or resolving challenges related to these aforementioned issues. For this study, seven participants were interviewed about their sexual orientation, religious conviction, affiliation with faith communities, as well as norms, ethics, and theology regarding sexuality. To understand aspects of identity, a critical discursive approach is applied to the analysis of the interview material. Interpretative repertoires relevant to the topic are discerned, after which positioning within these repertoires is examined. The aim of this study is to shed more light on the ways in which sexual orientation is preformed and negotiated within a specific cultural and religious context. The participants are found to construct interpretative repertoires specifically regarding homosexuality. These relate to sexual and religious ethics, to various social repercussions, and to the idea of either changing or affirming non-heterosexual orientation. Different positioning occurs within the interpretative repertoires, of which some is problematic. The more problematic positioning and accounts raise concerns from a standpoint of wellbeing and social stigmatization. Hopefully this study can contribute to expanding and furthering the discussion on how persons experiencing same sex attraction could be helped within heteronormative faith communities, without being stigmatized within or outside these communities and without having their wellbeing compromised.
Subject: Identity negotiation
same sex attraction
heteronormativity
Christian faith communities


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