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A narrative exploration of how female same-sex couples' decision to marry affects family support

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dc.contributor.advisor Dr. Adrian D. van Breda en_US
dc.contributor.author Moodie, Diane
dc.date.accessioned 2011-11-01T08:09:46Z
dc.date.available 2011-11-01T08:09:46Z
dc.date.issued 2011-11-01
dc.date.submitted 2010-03
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/3932
dc.description M.A. en_US
dc.description.abstract Despite the fact that same-sex marriage was legalised in South Africa in 2006, predominant societal attitudes towards gay couples remain negative. In the face of this opposition, samesex couples who choose to marry are often in need of support, but may find that support lacking because of the stigma associated with being gay. This study sought to explore what happens with family support in particular when a gay couple chooses to marry legally. Using a narrative qualitative method, informed and influenced by phenomenological research and grounded theory, the researcher sought to explore and describe the experience of three female same-sex couples and the impact their legal marriage had on family support. One in-depth unstructured interview was conducted with each couple. Data were collected and analysed concurrently to identify story plot and themes related to family support, and how that support changed over time. Although no specific trends related to changes in family support emerged, the study revealed that 1) same-sex marriage was a form of ‘coming out,’ 2) couples did desire family support throughout the process of getting married, 3) couples desired support particularly in the form of validation of their identity and engagement/involvement in the preparations for getting married, and 4) for many families, offering support was a process that involved assimilating the idea of gay marriage. In addition, emerging theory seemed to suggest that moments of crisis and family rituals have the potential for increasing the level of family support offered to married gay couples, and that having the opportunity to tell their stories and hear the stories of other married gay couples was significant to the couples involved in the study. Implications for social work practice related to these theories were also identified. Finally, it is hoped that the rich and detailed description shared by the couples in this study added critical depth to an area of research (same-sex marriage) that is generally neglected. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Same-sex marriage en_US
dc.subject Lesbians
dc.title A narrative exploration of how female same-sex couples' decision to marry affects family support en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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