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Looking heteronormatively good! Combining story completion with Bitstrips to explore understandings of sexuality and appearance

Hayfield, Nikki; Wood, Matthew

Looking heteronormatively good! Combining story completion with Bitstrips to explore understandings of sexuality and appearance Thumbnail


Authors

Matthew Wood



Abstract

© 2019, © 2019 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. This study sought to develop knowledge about understandings of sexuality and appearance by using a story completion task combined with an innovative visual methodology. Fifty-four (mainly female) participants were randomly assigned to complete a story about a fictional bisexual, lesbian, or heterosexual character who is going on a date, and then asked to build a Bitstrips online avatar of their character. Our social constructionist thematic analysis identified that looking good was a common feature of the stories and that this was understood in largely heteronormative terms. This imperative was also clear in stories of the date, which relied on traditional notions of gender and heterosexuality. Finally, individuality and authenticity were rewarded in participants’ stories, yet this was simultaneously constrained by (dominant) heteronormative narratives. We conclude that combining story completion with visual methods enabled deeper insights into representations of appearance, dating, and relationships, than a textual method alone.

Citation

Hayfield, N., & Wood, M. (2019). Looking heteronormatively good! Combining story completion with Bitstrips to explore understandings of sexuality and appearance. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 16(1), 115-135. https://doi.org/10.1080/14780887.2018.1536390

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 11, 2018
Online Publication Date Nov 28, 2018
Publication Date Jan 2, 2019
Journal Qualitative Research in Psychology
Print ISSN 1478-0887
Electronic ISSN 1478-0895
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 16
Issue 1
Pages 115-135
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/14780887.2018.1536390
Keywords adornment, avatars, bisexual, gay, lesbian, heterosexual, innovative methods, sexualities, thematic analysis, virtual characters, visual analysis
Public URL https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/853039
Publisher URL https://doi.org/10.1080/14780887.2018.1536390
Additional Information Additional Information : This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Qualitative Research in Psychology on 28th November 2018, available online: https://doi.org/10.1080/14780887.2018.1536390.

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