How do LGBTQ+ youth build liveable lives?

Speirs, Jennifer (2017) How do LGBTQ+ youth build liveable lives? MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Printed Thesis Information:


There are stark inequalities in mental health between lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning and asexual (LGBTQ+) youth and their heterosexual, cisgender counterparts, and has drawn out inequalities within LGBTQ+ identities. In a field where vulnerability and suicidality are often highlighted, this thesis contributes to a recent and growing body of research into queer youth wellbeing, that affirms young people’s agency and resilience, and asks, “how do LGBTQ+ youth build liveable lives?”
I draw on Veenhoven’s liveability framework, which offers a sociological approach to wellbeing that incorporates both structure and agency. 20 participants, recruited both online and offline, took part in this qualitative, mixed methods study and could choose to participate in interviews, diary-keeping, online questionnaire and a period of online ethnographic observation. The varied data, which included images as well as text, was analysed by taking each participant as a whole and producing ethnographic case studies.
From the data emerged two key factors for queer youth liveability: self-understanding and recognition. I argue that available narratives of self are necessary to accessing a positive and coherent sense of self-understanding. These narratives were not equally available to all, and those with more marginalised identities struggled to access positive stories of self. Despite structural constraints, participants were engaging in online and offline actions to claim recognition for themselves, and their actions could transcend their individual contexts to cultivate liveability for other queer youth. These actions, online and offline, demonstrated the agency and resilience of participants as they actively engaged in building liveable lives for themselves and each other. I end by recommending that future research and practice continue to look to youth as experts in their own experiences, and learn from their own innovative solutions that go beyond what can be articulated in text.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Additional Information: Due to copyright restrictions the full text of this thesis cannot be made available online. Access to the printed version is available.
Keywords: sexuality, gender, mental health, wellbeing, LGBT, queer youth, self-care, liveability, young people, internet, online, resilience.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Wyke, Prof. Sally and Francesca, Dr. Stella
Date of Award: 2017
Depositing User: Ms Jennifer Speirs
Unique ID: glathesis:2017-8928
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 13 Apr 2018 09:58
Last Modified: 13 Apr 2018 10:12

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