Saturday, May 22, 2010

Friendship between heterosexual women and gay men: Mythical norms

My discourse analysis article about sexual/gender norms in friendship is published this month in Feminism & Psychology. Free version available as a PDF here.


Gay men and heterosexual women may share some common interests in critiquing hetero-patriarchy. However feminism and gay politics do not always coincide and the role of individual subjectivities in recognising oppressive discourses of normativity remains debated. Interviews were conducted with seven friendship dyads of heterosexual women and gay men. Transcripts were subjected to discourse analysis, which suggested extensive management of heterosexist norms in the friends’ accounts of friendship. The analysis highlighted ambiguity over the ‘male’ status of gay men, a concern with constructing the friendships as legitimately asexual, and the use of parody in the face of homophobia to disrupt normative assumptions. Although we primarily considered the role of heterosexist discourses, there is also evidence that other dimensions of non-normativity (for example, gender and ethnicity) are implicated in friendships constructed around shared otherness and mutual non-normativity.

Article available here for those who have access.

Update: My publishing agreement with Sage means I can make available the final submission version free of charge. This isn't the canonical version and has a few typos that Sage's editors fixed in the final copy. Nevertheless you can download it free from here.


Shepperd, D., Coyle, A., & Hegarty, P. (2010). Discourses of friendship between heterosexual women and gay men: Mythical norms and an absence of desire. Feminism & Psychology, 20 (2), 205-224. [Access the article published by Sage here]