Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Race and Sexual Identities: Narratives of Women Navigating Intersecting Identities
by Smelt, Tara J., Ph.D., Capella University, 2017, 147; 10600792
Abstract (Summary)

The purpose of this study is to provide context around the often-complex involvement that multiple minority identities can have on an individual. With the use of current identity development models around racial identity and sexual orientation, there have been no provisions around multiple identities or to the intersection of other identities building one main identity. As there is also a lack of literature around the topic of multiple identities and influences, this study’s main purpose is to add to the literature. The use of an intersectionality methodology was to provide a framework that would allow for discourse around marginalized identities to be examined simultaneously, in an effort to understand the complexities around this particular demographic. The sample consisted of women who identified as Black and lesbian between the ages of 18-51. A case study was conducted to gather information on how participants navigated their development process. The data analysis found several themes which were (1) sexual identification, (2) What it means to be and experiences related to (identity), (3) how the participants juggled (managed) intersecting identities of being Black and lesbian (4) acceptance of sexual identity (5) religion (6) discrimination. The findings provided an interesting outcome as there were many layers that were not considered such as how religion interacted with them and the development of their identity and was often a negative aspect in their lives to the discrimination that they felt not only in the LGBT community but also the Black community.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Cowan, Rebecca
Commitee: Lambert, Serena, Utesch, William
School: Capella University
Department: Social and Behavioral Sciences
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 78/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Black studies, Womens studies, LGBTQ studies
Keywords: Black, Intersectionality, Lesbian, Lgbt, Women
Publication Number: 10600792
ISBN: 978-0-355-09809-9
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