Invisible difference in space: the role of different spaces in homophobic bullying in schools

Case Studies & Research
22 p.
Periodical title
Journal of LGBT Youth, 5(3), 11-33

This small-scale piece of research was undertaken to examine, retrospectively, the experiences of 10 men, ages 27 through 53, in terms of what constitutes and influences homophobic bullying in the private and state school contexts in the United Kingdom. Using standpoint epistemology and a life histories method, the author investigates what is meant by homophobia and homophobic bullying; tries to identify why respondents think the bullying they suffered was homophobic in nature; and identifies and develops an understanding of the role different spaces play within school. Homophobic bullying has much to do with the intent to hurt that is contained within various "verbal spaces". Alongside this, physical spaces within a school environment, including the personal and social education classroom and changing rooms, play key roles in homophobic bullying. Pedagogic strategies and educational policies of intervention are suggested.

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