Transnational same-sex couples: negotiating intimacy and home(s) ‘here’ and ‘there’

Anzola Beltran, Juan Diego (2018) Transnational same-sex couples: negotiating intimacy and home(s) ‘here’ and ‘there’. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This thesis explores the ways in which transnational same-sex couples construe and experience transnational migration, intimacy, and home. The study was initially born out of the need to contribute to the young, but growing body of scholarly work in relation to queer migration studies. For long, the figure of ‘the migrant’ was founded on heterosexual terms only, thus impeding any possibility of exploring the lives of those with non-normative gender and sexual identities. During the last two decades or so, new scholarship has tried to alter this picture, arguing for a more inclusive assessment of global migration. This project aims to further the scholarly conversations in this regard, but it also wishes to go beyond the traditional economic and political spheres in which the migrant is usually placed in; hence, it promotes a study of migration that is also preoccupied with the intimate and emotional life of LGBT+/queer migrants.

In this sense, this research is interested in how 12 transnational same-sex couples (that are also binational) understand and practice intimate life and home. Indeed, examining the life of these couples in migration offers a unique opportunity to delve into the intimate and domestic dimensions of transnational migration, and therefore, to show how the research participants actively negotiated and sustained family life and a sense of belonging in today’s rapidly changing and globalising world. The ‘transnational’ component will be key across this thesis, as it enables the possibility of understanding the couples’ different movements, attachments, networking and (emotional and material) practices that explicate and buttress their migratory journeys.

The study was carried through the use of ethnographic techniques, namely, narrative interviewing, observation, and the construction of material culture narratives at the participants’ home(s). This methodological combination allowed for an in-depth and careful exploration of the individual and coupled biographies of the research participants. Particularly, this thesis illustrates how working with material culture brings richness and additional depth to empirical data, as well as it provides new opportunities for creativity and interaction with research participants.

In the end, this research project chiefly aims to provide gay men, lesbians, and other non-heterosexuals in transnational relationships additional tools to reflect on their lives, sense of belonging, citizenship status, and the value that is politically and socially bestowed on to their relationships, families and overall personal commitments. Indeed, I wish to bring attention to the intimate side of migration; to the fact that migrants, like the ones in this research, have meaningful and on-going personal and interpersonal attachments and commitments. This is why I argue that studying this can be key to a deeper and better understanding of the phenomenon of migration in the 21st Century.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Yip, Andrew K-T.
Zontini, Elisabetta
Keywords: transnationalism, same-sex intimacies, queer migration, mobility, intimacy, family, home, material culture, narratives, ethnography.
Subjects: H Social sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
J Political science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Sociology and Social Policy
Item ID: 50682
Depositing User: Anzola Beltran, Juan
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2018 04:40
Last Modified: 07 May 2020 18:47

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