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Title: Same-sex-attracted millennial teenagers' stories of their lives and concerns in a decade and a half of social change
Author: Crowley, Colm Andrew
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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Researching the lives of same-sex-attracted teenagers in Britain presents significant challenges and there are few contemporary studies. The psychological and wider social science literature on same-sex sexuality has typically focused on negative experience and disadvantage, although it is increasingly contended that the resilience and creativity of nonheterosexual teenagers warrant more attention. The purpose of the present investigation was to gain an appreciation of issues of concern to the millennial generation of British sexual minority teenagers (born between 1980 and 2000). The study takes a broadly social constructionist and critical psychology position, being a useful and appropriate framework for contesting the traditional psychological paradigm of sexual orientation. A flexible, qualitative design was used. Over the past decade-and-a-half, three waves of same-sex-attracted 13- to 18-year-olds of all genders participated (N=35). The population investigated thereby encompasses: those in their teens at the millennium; those in their teens in the mid-2000s; and those born close to the millennium and currently in their teens. The young people were recruited from those attending dedicated LGBT ‘safe space’ sites such as an after-school study club, summer schools and camps. Volunteer teachers and youth workers involved were also recruited, for their perspectives (N=28). With the aim of eliciting accounts of a narrative type, in-depth individual and small-group interviews were conducted using a non-standardised conversational approach; documentation on the youth-work projects was also examined. A generic form of thematic analysis was adopted for its theoretical flexibility, augmented with analysis of narrative storyline. Storylines of adversity and of resilience in the accounts of the young people and the adult professionals are considered in the light of critical perspectives on the psychology of sexual orientation. Implications for the framing of sexual minority youth research, for sexual minority youth work, and for more inclusive education, are considered.
Supervisor: Hallam, S. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available