School's Out : a comparative study of workplace sexuality through the experiences of gay and lesbian teachers in California and Texas

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2010-05

Authors

Connell, Catherine Elizabeth

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This dissertation investigates the workplace experiences of gay and lesbian teachers. In-depth interviews and field observations were conducted with 51 teachers in Texas and in California, two states with different legal approaches to gay rights and worker rights. This comparative study highlights the importance of social, political, and cultural context in individual decision-making about sexual disclosure and performance, explores the consequences of "normalization" of LGBT experiences in the classroom, and addresses the role of identity politics in social change. By taking an intersectional approach to gay/lesbian identity construction, this dissertation considers how race, class, gender, and sexuality inequalities are expressed and reinforced in the experiences of gay and lesbian teachers.

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