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Narrating Heterosexual Identities: Recollections, Omissions and Contradictions

Meah, Angela, Hockey, Jenny and Robinson, Vicky (2004) Narrating Heterosexual Identities: Recollections, Omissions and Contradictions. In: Narrative, Memory & Identity: Theoretical and Methodological Issues. University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, pp. 85-93.

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      Abstract

      This paper draws on narratives of heterosexual identity gathered from among
      the members of different generations within extended families in East
      Yorkshire. Within single life history interviews we therefore have data which
      constitute memories of the past and narrative accounts of the present. What we
      explore in this paper are the contradictions and omissions evident in our
      material. Thus, for example, some interviewees recall the value they placed on
      freedom to explore their sexuality during their adolescence yet, speaking as
      parents, emphasise the importance of regulating their children’s sexual
      experience. Others attribute chastity, monogamy and sexual restraint with an
      unquestionably high moral status, yet openly endorse the vagaries of sexual
      practice between particular individuals, including themselves. In some cases
      these contradictions become apparent to the interviewee and we therefore
      explore their reflections on this kind of dissonance. In others contradictions are
      apparent only to the researcher. We analyse these narratives as aspects of the
      ways in which heterosexuality, as an institution, is produced and reproduced.
      Of particular interest are the continuities of heterosexual strategy which may
      underpin apparently disparate practices. In addition we concern ourselves with
      the ways in which individuals evaluate the ‘givens’ of heterosexuality,
      amending, resisting or transforming the practices through which it is
      constituted.

      Item Type: Book Chapter
      Additional Information: Copyright for chapters remain with individual authors at all times and permission should be sought from the author for any reproduction other than for personal use.
      Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
      Schools: School of Human and Health Sciences > Narrative and Memory Research Group > Narrative and Memory Research Group Annual Conference
      School of Human and Health Sciences
      Related URLs:
      Depositing User: Cherry Edmunds
      Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2009 16:45
      Last Modified: 30 Jul 2010 14:13
      URI: http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/4977

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