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Constructing risk across timescales and trajectories: gay men’s stories of sexual encounters

Jones, Rodney H. and Candlin, Christopher N. (2003). Constructing risk across timescales and trajectories: gay men’s stories of sexual encounters. Health, Risk and Society, 5(2) pp. 199–213.

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This paper explores the way risk is constructed in the stories gay men tell of their sexual experiences. It focuses on how tellers use such stories to portray themselves both as rational actors and as legitimate members of their social groups by reconstructing the 'orderliness' of sexual encounters. An analysis of a corpus of stories derived from a diary study of gay male sexual behaviour in Hong Kong using current theories of discourse analysis reveals how narrators organize their experiences along two primary vectors of engagement: a sequential vector along which the trajectory of the sexual encounter is presented as a chain of occurrences, each occurrence contingent upon previous ones and warranting subsequent ones, and a hierarchical vector along which processes perceived on longer timescales are portrayed as exerting pressure on the ways processes on shorter timescales unfold. Examining how men portray these vectors in their accounts of risk behaviour can help us better understand both the situatedness of risk behaviour and the ways it is linked to larger social practices, identity projects and community histories.

Item Type: Journal Item
ISSN: 1369-8575
Keywords: discourse analysis; gay; HIV/AIDS; sexual behaviour
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Languages and Applied Linguistics
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Research Group: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Item ID: 351
Depositing User: Users 12 not found.
Date Deposited: 16 May 2006
Last Modified: 02 May 2018 12:29
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