Surviving in dangerous places:lesbian identity performances in the workplace, social class and psychological health

McDermott, Elizabeth (2006) Surviving in dangerous places:lesbian identity performances in the workplace, social class and psychological health. Feminism and Psychology, 16 (2). pp. 193-211. ISSN 0959-3535

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Abstract

This article examines the ways in which the psychological health of women may be influenced by workplace sexual identity performances and social class positioning. It draws on UK research through in-depth interviews with 24 women who self-defined as mainly lesbian and/or gay. The article demonstrates that, for the women in the study, sexual identity performances at work involved negotiating employment settings that render heterosexuality compulsory and thus lesbian/gay performances a risk. As a result, the women engaged in risk-assessment strategies that were psychologically demanding. The women's narratives also suggest that the psychological effects of managing an 'othered' sexual identity in work was mediated by social class. The working-class women were more likely to be employed in settings where heterosexuality was heavily regulated and their 'practices of survival' were potentially more detrimental to their psychological health.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Feminism and Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3200
Subjects:
ID Code:
66424
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
17 Sep 2013 08:10
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
06 May 2020 02:51