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‘Rural Roots’- More Than Just a Metaphor: The Lived Experience of Homosexual Migration from a Rural to an Urban Setting

Conn, Charlotte (2014) ‘Rural Roots’- More Than Just a Metaphor: The Lived Experience of Homosexual Migration from a Rural to an Urban Setting. Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Advancing upon previous research, this study aims to develop knowledge upon the shaping of identity in homosexuals through the experience of rural to urban migration. Exploring theories of homosexual identity (Troiden, 1988), philosophy of space/place (Casey, 1993) and the sexual being (Merleau-Ponty, 1962) this study allows for an insight into the effects on identity due to homosexual migration. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis was the chosen methodology for an interpretation of findings amongst six homosexual participants, who all moved to an urban setting from a rural background. Straying away from previous research around the determinants of homosexual migration, this study concentrates on the embodiment of ‘rurality’ on a homosexual identity and the effect of the lived experience. The analysis demonstrated how identity is never ‘finalised’ due to constantly being built upon however; it did find that ‘rurality’ does have a rooted effect upon identity. Three emergent themes from the analysis helped come to this conclusion; a defence against internalised homonegativity, the organisation of the sexual self and the search for a role model.

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