Honor's Investigation into LGBT-Catholic Intersections of Identity in a Midwestern College Town Parish

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2016-04-01
Authors
Spick, Birch
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Anthropology
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Anthropology
Abstract

This pilot study seeks to investigate the intersections of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) and Catholic identities by analyzing the discourses (language by which individuals describe their ideologies, worldviews, practices, etc.) of members of a gay-straight alliance in a Catholic parish situated in a Midwestern college town. I analyzed the discourse of informants (what they say or don't say about their experiences as LGBT/allied Catholics), to understand what church teachings or practices are referenced in our conversations. Key questions concerned why those teachings/practices were important; where those teachings/practices came from; and how those teachings/practices are used by different people in different ways (this would be sensitive to social contexts such as a person's sexual orientation, role in the church, etc.). Interviews with three informants were conducted, and data pertaining to individuals' ideologies, worldviews, practices, etc. were compared with each other and with data collected from secondary sources (research monographs, journal articles, published dissertations, etc.). Informants were recruited by word of mouth through conversations that took place over the last two years.

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