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ERIC Number: ED527228
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 440
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1242-8003-5
Struggling against Heteronormativity: The Narratives of Seventeen Heterosexuals
Smith, Lance Christian
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Syracuse University
There is a paucity of literature that examines the narratives of heterosexuals who struggle against the discourse of heteronormativity. There is even less literature that discusses how the discourse of heteronormativity may play out between egalitarian heterosexual counselors and clients who identify as sexual minorities. Employing the qualitative methodology of Hollway and Jeffersons' (2005) free association narrative interview method (FANIM), this dissertation takes a small step towards addressing this gap by examining the narratives of 17 heterosexuals who are engaged in struggling against the discourse of heteronormativity. The narratives of these informants reveal a socialization to heteronormativity that begins within the social phenomenon of heteroinsulation. The informants narrate their struggle through one of three discourses: (1) the discourse of live-and-let-live, (2) the discourse of empathy and affect, and (3) the discourse of coherence. The narratives of these informants emphasize that struggling against heteronormativity is a process highlighted by two significant phenomena, (1) relationships with sexual minorities and (2) same-sex erotic experiences. Finally, throughout this study the FANIM approach demonstrates that struggling with the discourse of heterosexism co-occurs with reproducing heterosexism--triggering intra-psychic dissonance and subconscious conflict. Therefore, informants demonstrate an array of ego-defense mechanisms to assist them in negotiating the discrepancy between their desire to struggle and their complicity in reproducing heteronormativity. Limitations according to queer theory, implications for the field of counseling and opportunities for further research are discussed. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A