LGBT Issues: Looking beyond Categories

LGBT Issues: Looking beyond Categories

LGBT Issues: Looking beyond Categories

LGBT Issues: Looking beyond Categories

Synopsis

The editors of this book provide a thought-provoking resource for anyone concerned with sexuality and gender identity in health and social care settings. With a Scottish focus, drawing on current research and debates, the book's contributors explore some of the tensions between the different ways in which sexuality is understood and experienced. A focus is on how categories like lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transexual shape everyday practice and service use. It looks at the circumstances in which people choose to describe themselves with these identity labels and the situations in which they reject or feel constrained by them. A particular feature of the book is its combination of a nuanced understanding of the nature of sexual identities with practice-relevant and grounded examples taken from health and social care settings. Intended primarily for a practitioner audience and for those studying in the field of health and social care, this volume will also interest academics and an international audience because of its distinctive theoretical sophistication about the nature of sexual identities.

Excerpt

Richard Ward and Rebecca L. Jones

This book provides a resource for anyone concerned with sexuality and gender identity in health and social care settings. It explores some of the different ways that identities can be understood, focusing particularly on how categories like ‘lesbian’, ‘gay’, ‘bisexual’, and ‘trans’ are used in everyday care-based encounters. We examine situations in which people use identity labels such as these, and some of the conditions under which they reject or feel constrained by them. The book is intended for practitioners in health and social care who want to become better informed about the implications of LGBT sexual identities in care practice. It is also intended for students, academics and policy makers who wish to add to their knowledge of these issues.

As the title indicates, this book interrogates common understandings of sexuality and gender identity. In doing this, one aim is to question the assumption that LGBT groups or individuals can be readily characterised by a fixed set of shared attributes or needs. For this reason we do not provide a comprehensive overview of issues affecting LGBT people in health and social care settings (for more general introductions to the topic of LGBT issues in health and social care, see Bywater and Jones, 2007; Fish, 2006; Heath and White, 2007; Meyer and Northridge, 2006; Wilton, 2000). Rather, this book demonstrates the complex and changing ways in which identity labels such as these are used by individuals and organisations in care settings.

While the chapters draw on current academic theoretical debate about the nature of identities, we anticipate that at least some of the issues raised may be unfamiliar to many readers. We have therefore grounded the discussion in concrete examples, narratives and case studies. We hope that these will provide . . .

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