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Lesbian and gay parents on talk shows: resistance or collusion in heterosexism?

Clarke, Victoria; Kitzinger, Celia

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Authors

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Dr Victoria Clarke Victoria.Clarke@uwe.ac.uk
Associate Professor in Qualitative & Critical Psychology

Celia Kitzinger



Abstract

In this paper we explore popular television talk show debates about lesbian and gay parents. We show that the heterosexist framing of these debates compels lesbian and gay parents and their supporters to produce defensive and apologetic arguments that normalise lesbian and gay families. Lesbian and gay parents end up reinforcing the legitimacy of anti-lesbian/gay fears in the very act of demonstrating that they are groundless. We identify six themes in pro-lesbian/gay discourse on talk shows: (i) ‘I’m not a lesbian/gay parent’; (ii) ‘we’re just the family next door’; (iii) ‘love makes a family’; (iv) ‘god made Adam and Steve’; (v) children as ‘proof ’; and (vi) the benefits of growing up in a lesbian/gay family. Our analysis focuses on the broad, ideological functions and effects of these themes. We conclude the paper by outlining an alternative agenda for talk show debates about lesbian and gay issues.

Citation

Clarke, V., & Kitzinger, C. (2004). Lesbian and gay parents on talk shows: resistance or collusion in heterosexism?. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 1(3), 195-217. https://doi.org/10.1191/1478088704qp014oa

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2004
Deposit Date Nov 22, 2010
Publicly Available Date Nov 15, 2016
Journal Qualitative Research in Psychology
Print ISSN 1478-0887
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 1
Issue 3
Pages 195-217
DOI https://doi.org/10.1191/1478088704qp014oa
Keywords heterosexism, lesbian and gay parenting, normalisation, talk shows
Public URL https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/1064431
Publisher URL http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1191/1478088704qp014oa
Additional Information Additional Information : This is an electronic version of an article published in "Clarke, Victoria and Kitzinger, Celia (2004) Lesbian and gay parents on talk shows: resistance or collusion in heterosexism? Qualitative Research in Psychology, 1 (3). pp. 195-217". Qualitative Research in Psychology is available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1191/1478088704qp014oa

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