The individual, the couple and the family: Social and legal recognition of same-sex partnerships in Europe
Title: The individual, the couple and the family: Social and legal recognition of same-sex partnerships in Europe
Author: JÖRGENS, Frédéric
Citation: Florence, European University Institute, 2007
Series/Number: EUI PhD theses; Department of Political and Social Sciences
This study analyzes the role of social and legal transformations regarding homosexuality in the construction of gay and lesbian identities. In this respect, the recognition of same-sex couples constitutes a fundamental element of a changing social environment in the contemporary European context and as a phenomenon stands at the centre of the inquiry. The interest in the functions of the law in identity construction explains the topical focus on legal changes. Qualitative research methods are combined with a theoretical inquiry into notions of recognition and identity. Fifty in-depth interviews have been conducted in France, Germany, Italy and the UK. The fieldwork focuses on a metropolitan lesbian and gay bar milieu: respondents were approached in bars and cafés in Berlin, London, Paris, and Rome. This fieldwork and the discourses and narratives that stem from it constitute the main empirical source of the project. The notion of identity management (Goffman), a critical theory approach to recognition (Honneth) and a social theory approach to the individual and social change (Kaufmann) feed into the research project from the outset and are in tum informed by it. What does it mean for lesbians and gays to experience the current debates on same-sex marriage and partnership laws? How, if at all, do the normative changes in their social environments affect their life plans, the understanding of their own lives, and the expression of homosexuality in public settings? How can the researcher link the very personal level of individual lives to the macro-level of normative change in society at large and in the legal and political realm?
LC Subject Heading: Gay rights; Gays -- Legal status, laws, etc
Defence date: 8 June 2007; Examining board: Prof. Peter Wagner, Supervisor, EUI ; Prof. Donatella Della Porta, EUI ; Prof. Eric Fassin, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris ; Prof. Jeffrey Weeks, University of the South Bank, London; First made available online 25 June 2015.
Type of Access: openAccess