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Silent, Silenced and Powerless – Resilience and Agency in Rural Gay Men

Silent, Silenced and Powerless – Resilience and Agency in Rural Gay Men

This paper presents “empowering alternatives” in a cohort of marginalized individuals who are usually considered to be silent, silenced and powerless: The gay men who have chosen to stay and live their lives in rural areas. It cites a largely unreported aptitude and adeptness by men to live contented lives in areas well away from urban cosmopolitan milieu. It argues that their resilience allows them to deploy a multiplicity of actions and reflective processes that, despite their apparent subordinate position in the rural communities, continues to give them, determination to live their lives as and where they choose.

But these men’s personal strengths can also be seen through other conceptual frameworks. The notions of ‘agency’ and ‘resistance’, when applied to these gay men, also shed light on their empowerment in the face of omni-present difficulties. It is the realisation of their own capacity for action to improve their lives and to live them as they wish for agency that is their springboard to resistance. This paper demonstrates that seemingly subordinate individuals can express counteractions to the hegemonic ideology, in this case represented by the ‘countrymindedness’ which underlay the structure of social domination in rural communities.

Speakers: Dr Ed Green
Conference: Demo


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