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Belonging, being and borders: understanding collective identities

Mylles, Alexander 2008. Belonging, being and borders: understanding collective identities. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.

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This thesis is a theoretical analysis of organisational identity, community and belonging. I use a debate concerning transgender inclusion/exclusion to exemplify the identity work of the Council members of Morton Hall, a UK based public sector LGB organisation. I draw on a range of queer, feminist and post-structural theorists in explicating the processes of dis/identification that I have observed. I elucidate the complex, and often contradictory, relationship between gender and sexuality by employing discourse/narrative analysis on the transcripts of interviews and meetings of the organisation. The reasons given by Council members for either including or excluding transgender from the organisation give insights into the identity constructions of the individuals themselves, and of the organisation as a whole. This is combined with a diverse and distinctive theoretical approach which aims to utilise contemporary queer and gender theory as well as less obvious thinkers such as Nietzsche, Durkheim, Hegel, Bataille and Deleuze and Guattari. Using these theorists I develop the argument that the transgression of normative gender codes is central to the creation of a boundary between gender and sexuality which instigates the exclusionary practice adopted by the organisation at the conclusion of the debate. Whilst the research site specifically relates to sexual and gender identity, the theoretical conclusions regarding the construction of collective identity and the formation of community are widely applicable.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
ISBN: 9781303212857
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2016 23:12

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