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Sensing the invisible white Gestalt in gay spaces: phenomenology and affect

Suffee, Reshad (2013) Sensing the invisible white Gestalt in gay spaces: phenomenology and affect. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

This thesis looks at the racialized experiences of gay black minority ethnic (GBME) men in white gay spaces within England. This thesis makes an original contribution to the field of racialized embodied subjectivity and racialized spaces by theorizing the lived-Body using Edmund Husserl's phenomenology of embodied sense to develop Frantz Fanon's concept of embodied dissonance in relation to racialized information present within the invisible white Gestalt in white gay spaces. This approach is important where the racialized discursive formations and practices around whiteness in gay spaces are often "invisible‟ or strategically obscured, whilst being simultaneously visible and understood by GBME men as implicating racialized Othering. This sensed pattern of perceptual information is defined as the invisible white Gestalt. The empirical research involved face-to-face semi-structured interviews with 11 GBME men and 3 gay support officers who were GWME (gay white majority ethnic) men. The locations for the interviews were London and the north of England. The ages of my respondents ranged from 21 to 56 years. This thesis begins by exploring how interpellation and the interpellative gaze respectively impact upon the discursive and affective attributes of embodied subjectivity. Here for example racist behaviour not expressed verbally will require sensing through feelings of being unwelcomed or understanding particular language as „invisibly‟ referring to "race‟. I then explore how embodied subjectivity around the whole self and the penis interprets and understands the racialized information circulating within the white gay space. Here I show how sense can enable complex understandings of the social interactions. Finally this thesis explores how atmospheres in white gay spaces can be sensed by GBME men, here I show how atmospheres may be racialized to exclude GBME men. This thesis argues that whiteness can be experienced as an affective sense of whiteness by GBME men in white gay spaces.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law (Leeds) > School of Sociology and Social Policy (Leeds)
Depositing User: Repository Administrator
Date Deposited: 11 Jul 2013 09:27
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2014 11:27
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/4152

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