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Title: Am I my own special creation? : a qualitative analysis investigating the process of gay identity construction in men
Author: King, Nick
ISNI:       0000 0004 2698 1564
Awarding Body: University of East London
Current Institution: University of East London
Date of Award: 2003
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Research into the construction of gay identity has been well documented over the past three decades. In recent years, however, stage-based models have come under scrutiny for firstly, assuming this construction process is linear and applies to all gay men and secondly, omitting to consider social influences. More recent theories argue that the gay identity construction is a series of 'tasks' that an individual has to work through influenced by a seemingly infinite number of variables. The current research reports findings from interviews with eight self-identified gay men. They were interviewed about their gay identity, disclosure of this to other people and the influences of wider societal beliefs on this construction process. The data was analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. The results indicated that the process of gay identity construction is influenced by a number of internal and external processes and these are continuous throughout life - this finding is discussed as being essential when considering gay identity in both clinical and theoretical domains. The participants described a sense of permanence of gay feelings from a young age, adaptation to these feelings and a continuous process of reconstructing their gay identity. The reconstruction process was facilitated through interactions with other people (both heterosexual and gay). There was also evidence of conflicting values, both internally (within the participants) and externally (within family and peers), specifically in relation to religious, traditional and generational ideas which required negotiation. Furthermore, there was significant influence arising from socially constructed attitudes and beliefs of being gay. The results are discussed from both multi-contextual and constructionist perspectives. Clinical and theoretical implications from this research are also presented as is a proposed model of gay identity construction.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available