[ONLINE] University of Aveiro, Portugal

October 21, 22 and 23 2020

Between Oppression and Affirmation in the (In)Conformity of a Threatened Democracy: Notions and Experiences of LGBT Families

Mónica Carneiro

The family has evolved throughout history, beginning as a concept of categorization and social organization, going through traditional conception during modernity, and today is on its way to a post-modern vision, where it includes multiple forms of organization, composition and operation (Ibarra, 2017; Stacey, 1990). The construction of the notion of the family is also closely linked to the products of political institutions and democratic states with representation and places of power. The democratic crisis is today strongly linked to conservative and neo-liberal political currents, and therefore to family narratives as a conservative institution. The main objective of this study is to explore the conceptions and experiences of people living in LGB families as members of these families, taking into account political and socio-cultural influences. To this end, the focus for data collection was based on LGB families, their notions of family, and the experiences and social challenges experienced. Eight semi-structured individual interviews were conducted with people who consider themselves members of this type of family. The procedure for analysing the corpus was the Braun and Clarke Thematic Analysis (2006), and the following themes were identified: (1) (in)conformity; and (2) between oppression and affirmation. The narratives collected allow us to highlight the visibility that the LGB population is giving to new forms of family, reconceptualizing them in a more diverse and inclusive way. It is also reflected on the influence of power systems on the social acceptance of these families, specifically in a democratic social context that is not representative of the community and which poses ideological threats to their recognition, leading to various situations of oppression of their free expression of identity as LGB people and/or families. 

Keywords: LGB families; family diversity; post-modernity; threatened democracy