Revisiting lesbians' and gay men's lives in Italy: generation, relationships, and gender

La Fauci, Luigi (2016) Revisiting lesbians' and gay men's lives in Italy: generation, relationships, and gender. PhD thesis, University of Trento.

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Abstract

‘Revisiting lesbians' and gay men's lives’ is a study on same-sex desiring individuals' changing life course in Italy from the mid 1990s to the early 2010s. Focused on sexual developmental trajectories, same-sex cohabiting couples, and parental desires, its main argument is that, even in a relatively short time period, Italian lesbians' and gay men's lives changed in ways that further sexual and relational pluralism and provide empowering narratives and resources to communities of sexually diverse individuals. Throughout the thesis, I adopt the framework of generational sexualities to observe transformations at the intersection of theorisations in the sociology of personal relationships, feminist research, and interactionism. Declining homophobia and unchanging gender sexual inequality result in lesbians and gay men reinventing the gendered aspects of sexual development and contesting homonegativity in familial, religious, and public milieux. In couple formation, sexual agreements, and emotional styles, lesbian and gay relationships are gendered, but the advancement of the relevance of prosaic and mythic love in the institution of coupledom helps same-sex partners negotiate interdependent lives and relational ties that are similar to contemporary Italian heterosexuals'. Despite facing the limits posed by gendered bodies and procreative and parental norms, lesbians, gay men, and same-sex couples see bio-social ties to the child as dependent on care-taking ties, and visualize and negotiate their procreative potentials and relationships aiming at securing familial happiness that is central in contemporary cultures of children's well-being. In the different aspects of lesbians' and gay men's life course, generational sexualities engage directly with contemporary Italian sexual citizenship, an exception in the Euro-American process of recognition of sexual diversity, and advance the pluralization of relational and gender norms. Chapter 1 discusses the theoretical underpinnings of the research. Chapter 2 presents the methodology and methods of the study, a qualitatively-driven mixed-methods research comprising gathering and analysis of biographical interviews with same-sex cohabiting partners in 2012-13, gathering and analysis of survey data on lesbian and gay lives in 2012-2013, and secondary analysis of survey data on lesbian and gay lives gathered in 1995-96. In Chapter 3, I analyse change in sexual developmental trajectories and strategies of resilience against homonegativity. Chapter 4 traces the emergence and institutionalisation of relational commitment in same-sex cohabiting couples. In Chapter 5, I look at lesbians' and gay men's parental desires as expressions of the changing social meaning of the child. Chapter 6 presents my concluding remarks, linking the generational agency and narratives emerging from new lesbians' and gay men's life courses to the prospects of Italian sexual citizenship and sexual minority communities.

Item Type:Doctoral Thesis (PhD)
Doctoral School:Sociology and Social Research (within the School in Social Sciences, till the a.y. 2010-11)
PhD Cycle:27
Subjects:Area 14 - Scienze politiche e sociali > SPS/08 SOCIOLOGIA DEI PROCESSI CULTURALI E COMUNICATIVI
Area 14 - Scienze politiche e sociali > SPS/11 SOCIOLOGIA DEI FENOMENI POLITICI
Area 14 - Scienze politiche e sociali > SPS/07 SOCIOLOGIA GENERALE
Area 14 - Scienze politiche e sociali > SPS/12 SOCIOLOGIA GIURIDICA, DELLA DEVIANZA E MUTAMENTO SOCIALE
Uncontrolled Keywords:Sexual citizenship; Personal relationships; Gender; Homosexuality and the life course; Sexual development; Relational institutions; Parental desires; Homosexuality and sexual milestones in youth; Homosexuality and resilience; Homosexuality and migration; Homosexuality and religiosity; Bisexuality; Homosexuality and dating markets; Homosexuality and cohabitation; Homosexuality and family inequality; Homosexuality, monogamy and non-monogamy; Homosexuality and same-sex marriage; Demographic transitions; Value of the child; Social meaning of the child; Homosexuality and parenthood; Assisted reproductive technologies; Surrogacy; Homosexuality and childcare; Sexual minority communities; Sexual diversity; Sexuality; Italy; Narrative research; Sexual pluralism; Transformations in sexuality; Sexual agency; Late modern sexualities.
Repository Staff approval on:03 May 2016 09:51

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