De-anchoring and loneliness:The legacy of experiences of stigma and discrimination in the lives of older gay and bisexual men

Grindey-Bell, Amelia (2022) De-anchoring and loneliness:The legacy of experiences of stigma and discrimination in the lives of older gay and bisexual men. PhD thesis, UNSPECIFIED.

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Abstract

Abstract Amelia Grindey-Bell, MSc, BSc (Hons), DipHe, RGN De-anchoring and loneliness: the legacy of experiences of stigma and discrimination in the lives of older gay and bisexual men The original aim of this thesis was to explore the life experiences of older lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) adults, who grew up in an era of heightened stigma and discrimination, and consider if early life experiences contributed to loneliness in later life. The initial chapters of this thesis focus on the LGB older adult population, however due to difficulties in recruiting lesbian women, the focus of the thesis shifts within the methodology chapter to solely consider the experiences of older gay and bisexual men. Using a narrative inquiry and a sample of 11 men, identifying as gay or bisexual, data were generated through the collection of topical life stories via semi-structured interviews or written accounts. Findings from a thematic narrative analysis indicate that loneliness was a common experience, however, rather than being focussed on later life it occurred on a continuum that fluctuated and peaked at different points in the participants’ lives. The study contributes to knowledge by increasing qualitative understanding of the internal and external factors that contribute to loneliness in the lives of older gay and bisexual men. It introduces the concept of de-anchoring which, when used in conjunction with the social convoy model of social relations, provides a deeper understanding of how earlier life experiences contribute to loneliness. This thesis argues that at different points in their lives, due to their sexual orientation and the societal construction of homosexuality, the participants were de-anchored from important sources of social support, leaving them vulnerable to loneliness throughout their lifetime. Using a narrative life history approach has revealed the importance of understanding how influences across the life course have shaped the ability of gay and bisexual men to access, develop and maintain the support systems that can protect against loneliness.

Item Type:
Thesis (PhD)
ID Code:
172886
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
13 Jul 2022 08:50
Refereed?:
No
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
13 Jul 2022 08:50