Colliding constructs : exploring discourses regarding traditional marriage and lesbian marriage : a literature review

Padfield, Lisa Rae (2007-12)

Thesis (MA (Psychology))--University of Stellenbosch, 2007.


This study explores the discourses in the literature regarding same-sex marriage and their underlying assumptions. Emphasis is placed on highlighting how researchers assume particular socio-political positions in their constructions of lesbian identity and same-sex marriage. The historical evolution of the concept and institution of marriage is traced so as to throw light on the socially constructed nature of a concept we might otherwise assume is fixed. Social constructionism provides the theoretical point of departure for the literature review and is applied through the tool of discourse analysis. The review attempts to explore in what ways the literature itself solves the tension between marriage as traditionally heterosexist and lesbians’ construction of their own identity in the context of intimate relationships, namely lesbian marriage.

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