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Sexy stories Using autobiography in geographies of sexuality

Sexy stories Using autobiography in geographies of sexuality For geographers doing qualitative research, autobiographical narratives offer a discrete avenue into life experiences, everyday lived geographies, and intimate connections between places and identities. Yet these valuable sources remain mostly untapped by geographers and largely unconsidered in methodological treatises. This article seeks to elicit the benefits of using autobiographical data, especially with regard to stigmatised sexual minorities in Western societies. Qualitative research among gay men, lesbians and bisexuals GLB is sometimes difficult due to the ongoing marginalisation experienced by sexual minorities in contemporary Western societies, subjects are often difficult to locate and reticent to participate in research. But autobiographical writing has a long history in Western GLB subcultures, and offers an unobtrusive means to explore the interpenetration of stigmatised sexuality and space, of GLB identity and place. A keen awareness of the power of geography of spaces of concealment, resistance, connection, emergence and affirmation underpins the content and form of GLB autobiographical writing. I demonstrate this in part through the example of my own research into gay male spatiality in Australia. At the same time we need to be aware of the generic limitations of autobiographies. Nevertheless, this article calls for wider attention to autobiographical sources, especially for geographical research into marginalised groups. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Qualitative Research Journal Emerald Publishing

Sexy stories Using autobiography in geographies of sexuality

Qualitative Research Journal , Volume 7 (1): 23 – Apr 6, 2007

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
1443-9883
DOI
10.3316/QRJ0701003
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

For geographers doing qualitative research, autobiographical narratives offer a discrete avenue into life experiences, everyday lived geographies, and intimate connections between places and identities. Yet these valuable sources remain mostly untapped by geographers and largely unconsidered in methodological treatises. This article seeks to elicit the benefits of using autobiographical data, especially with regard to stigmatised sexual minorities in Western societies. Qualitative research among gay men, lesbians and bisexuals GLB is sometimes difficult due to the ongoing marginalisation experienced by sexual minorities in contemporary Western societies, subjects are often difficult to locate and reticent to participate in research. But autobiographical writing has a long history in Western GLB subcultures, and offers an unobtrusive means to explore the interpenetration of stigmatised sexuality and space, of GLB identity and place. A keen awareness of the power of geography of spaces of concealment, resistance, connection, emergence and affirmation underpins the content and form of GLB autobiographical writing. I demonstrate this in part through the example of my own research into gay male spatiality in Australia. At the same time we need to be aware of the generic limitations of autobiographies. Nevertheless, this article calls for wider attention to autobiographical sources, especially for geographical research into marginalised groups.

Journal

Qualitative Research JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Apr 6, 2007

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