Negotiating Theory When Doing Practice: A Systematic Review of Qualitative Research on Interventions to Reduce Homophobia

Bartos, Sebastian E. and Hegarty, Peter (2019). Negotiating Theory When Doing Practice: A Systematic Review of Qualitative Research on Interventions to Reduce Homophobia. Journal of Homosexuality, 66(9) pp. 1262–1286.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00918369.2018.1500780

Abstract

We performed a systematic review of qualitative research on interventions to reduce homophobia. Specifically, we conducted a thematic analysis of participant feedback given in 30 qualitative and mixed-methods studies. Participants often described interventions as “eye-opening.” However, they also criticized many interventions for their mismatch with the social, historical, or institutional context in which they were conducted. Some participants rejected the interventions altogether, describing them as offensive or disgusting. We drew three conclusions. First, participants not only were actively making sense of the interventions but also were often aware of philosophical and political tensions (especially liberal vs. queer approaches). Second, participants sometimes used the perceived inadequacy of the intervention for the local context as an argument to resist change. Finally, tensions in participant feedback (eye-opening vs. disgusting) can be read as evidence that reducing homophobia is “dirty work”: such work is both vital for society and despised by many.

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