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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Sexual Liquidity: Spectral Possibilities, Assemblages, and Affect
by Talarico, Giacinta, Ph.D., California Institute of Integral Studies, 2020, 228; 28257692
Abstract (Summary)

The visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, and queer (LGBTQ) people, and people who identify in ways outside of and in addition to, “heterosexual” or LGBTQ+, has increased over the past three decades. Little is known, however, about how people come to develop and engage with these identities that are outside of and/or in addition to these previously demarcated identity categories. This is partially due to the fact that identifying this population for research presents unique challenges related to the opacity and the movement of people through and within of this identity non-category, and partially due to the fact that this appears to be an emergent phenomenon. In this project, I set out to understand the sexual identity development processes of these elusive LGBTQ+ Millennials—who sometimes identified as gay, and other times bisexual or queer and so on. My aim was to understand how they formed their identities, how these identities facilitated or hindered the sense of belonging to various identity groups or communities, and how cultural context might be influencing the formation of these identities. The data gathered in this project suggests that this phenomenon, which I call sexual liquidity, undergirds movements between and within the previously differentiated LGBTQ+ identity categories and is a response to the context of liquid modernity (Bauman, 2000/2012, 2007). Liquid modernity necessitates a paradigmatic shift toward understanding epistemology, linguistics, and ontology as rhizomatic. My findings suggest that sexual liquidity is a response to the context of liquid modernity, and that this liquidity operates to constitute and reconstitute rhizomatic selves in ways that enable people to continuously adapt to and move across and within a social terrain that is always in flux.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Marzullo, Michelle
Commitee: Zapien, Nicolle, LaSala, Michael
School: California Institute of Integral Studies
Department: Human Sexuality
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 82/6(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Sexuality, LGBTQ studies, Social work
Keywords: Identity development, LGBTQ, Millennials, Rhizome, Sexual liquidity
Publication Number: 28257692
ISBN: 9798557030137
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