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HOW STIGMA AFFECTS INFORMATION SHARING BY GAY MEN AND GLBT COMMUNITIES

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Date Issued:
2008
Abstract/Description:
This study examined how stigma and dialectical tensions affect information sharing by gay men. One specific area that was investigated is the use of interpersonal boundary spanning techniques in managing information related to being gay. The research used a qualitative, interpretive method to gather and analyze data from eleven in-depth interviews. An interview schedule was developed based on the critical incident technique in order to focus the interviews on specific events and direct observation. The questions in the interview covered individuals' experiences with sharing their sexual orientation with someone else for the first time, times when they have specifically chosen to share or not share their orientation, boundaries that exist between the GLBT community and the larger community in which it resides, and techniques used when sharing general information about being gay. The data was analyzed for relational themes described by Owen (1984) as those that emerge through recurrence, repetition, and forcefulness. The themes that emerged were how stigma affects coming out--both initially and continuously, managing stigma and dialectical tension, and techniques used in interpersonal boundary spanning. Two major contributions emerged: the relationship between stigma and intrapersonal dialectical tensions, and interpersonal boundary spanning. Stigma can change how easy it is to manage intrapersonal dialectical tensions, such as a normal-different tension. Interpersonal boundary spanning can help the stigmatized individual to demonstrate his normality, and interpersonal boundary spanning helps to reduce stereotyping and negative perception of the stigmatized group.
Title: HOW STIGMA AFFECTS INFORMATION SHARING BY GAY MEN AND GLBT COMMUNITIES.
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Name(s): Shephard, Kathryn, Author
Hastings, Sally, Committee Chair
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2008
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: This study examined how stigma and dialectical tensions affect information sharing by gay men. One specific area that was investigated is the use of interpersonal boundary spanning techniques in managing information related to being gay. The research used a qualitative, interpretive method to gather and analyze data from eleven in-depth interviews. An interview schedule was developed based on the critical incident technique in order to focus the interviews on specific events and direct observation. The questions in the interview covered individuals' experiences with sharing their sexual orientation with someone else for the first time, times when they have specifically chosen to share or not share their orientation, boundaries that exist between the GLBT community and the larger community in which it resides, and techniques used when sharing general information about being gay. The data was analyzed for relational themes described by Owen (1984) as those that emerge through recurrence, repetition, and forcefulness. The themes that emerged were how stigma affects coming out--both initially and continuously, managing stigma and dialectical tension, and techniques used in interpersonal boundary spanning. Two major contributions emerged: the relationship between stigma and intrapersonal dialectical tensions, and interpersonal boundary spanning. Stigma can change how easy it is to manage intrapersonal dialectical tensions, such as a normal-different tension. Interpersonal boundary spanning can help the stigmatized individual to demonstrate his normality, and interpersonal boundary spanning helps to reduce stereotyping and negative perception of the stigmatized group.
Identifier: CFE0002454 (IID), ucf:47717 (fedora)
Note(s): 2008-12-01
M.A.
Sciences, Nicholson School of Communication
Masters
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): stigma
dialectical tensions
boundary spanning
gay men
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0002454
Restrictions on Access: campus 2009-11-01
Host Institution: UCF

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