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Title: Out of Soho, back into the closet : re-thinking the London gay community
Author: Venturi, Marco
ISNI:       0000 0004 7232 5963
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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Over the past three decades, Soho has become known, both nationally and internationally, as London's gay district, functioning as a place where gay men could openly interact and express their sexual identities while also developing a sense of community. At the same time, Soho also worked as a bridge between these men and British society, laying the ground for those legal and social changes that contributed to a shift in attitudes towards homosexuality at the start of the millennium. However, many gay-targeted venues in the district have recently gone out of business or are struggling to stay open. Even though this tendency is often described as a direct result of the relentless process of gentrification that is swiftly changing the image of Soho, it does not explain why so many gay men seem to be almost complicit in the district's seeming disappearance. While it is impossible to ignore the part that gentrification is playing in the transformation of the district and the changing face of its gay scene, it is not the only element contributing to the process. Academic research has often concentrated on similar examples of gay districts around the world, but not much attention has been given to Soho. The aim of this work is to reconsider current views on Soho and to try to understand if and how other social, economic, and cultural factors may be playing a part in the dismissal of the area as London's gay district. In particular, through the use of qualitative interviews, the thesis concentrates on the personal experience of gay men in London and their relationship with Soho, bringing new insights to the study of the district and expanding academic literature around gay spaces and communities.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available