Being and Becoming: Analyzing the Negotiation of Spiritual, Religious, and Sexual Identities in Nonheterosexual British and American Young People through the Lens of Queer Theory

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Date
2012-09-05
Authors
Gallini, Thomas James
Keyword
Identity , Queer Theory , Spirituality , Religion , Youth
Abstract
Despite the large amount of research on religious young people, and research on the formation of young people‘s sexual identity, there is little research addressing the bearing that religion plays on identity construction in young people. Helping to fill this gap in the research, this paper investigates how young people simultaneously negotiate religious, spiritual, and sexual identities. Utilizing first-hand accounts from religious and spiritual young people from projects in the United Kingdom and the United States, this paper explores nonheterosexual youth as a site of liminality through the lens of queer theory. Participants in the studies demonstrated different approaches to the negotiation of multiple identities, including tension and conflict, compartmentalization, and integration, as well as differing levels of awareness of relevant concepts such as performativity and heteronormativity.
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