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Beyond Bright City Lights: The Migration Patterns of Gay Men and Lesbians
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Human Geography.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7272-1729
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

One of the most persistent popular notions of gay men and lesbians is that they either live in or move to larger cities. In this thesis, the geography and migration paths of gay men and lesbians are studied using the life course perspective to challenge this idea. It is argued that gay men and lesbians are affected by the time and place into which they are born. Like heterosexuals, they are subject to the normative conceptions of life paths that are present at a specific historical period and place. Adopting a mixed-methods approach, four studies related to this aim are conducted.

The first study shows that the tendency for gay men and lesbians to be concentrated to the largest cities in Sweden is greater than for heterosexuals. However, it also shows that the concentration tendency of lesbians and couples is less strong. The second study illustrates that tolerance plays no role in the geographical concentration of gay men and lesbians. Although perceived tolerance is often assumed to matter, this study shows that measured intolerance does not have an effect on the concentration tendency. The third study explores the migration motives of gay men and lesbians living in the city of Malmö, Sweden. It shows that the life stories of older cohorts resembled typical rural-urban flight stories but that the youngest cohort stressed motives similar to the overall population. This is in sharp contrast to the fourth study, which scrutinises migration stories from Izmir, Turkey. Because legal recognition is lacking, following the same life path as heterosexuals is problematic for gay men and lesbians. Because moving out is connected to this path, they remained living at home longer or never moved. Accordingly, the family played a core role in their lives rather than the rural-urban binary.

Taken together, these four studies show that the geography and migration patterns of gay men and lesbians are more multifaceted than living in or moving to a larger city.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Human Geography, Stockholm University , 2014. , 72 p.
Series
Meddelanden från Kulturgeografiska institutionen vid Stockholms universitet, ISSN 0585-3508 ; 146
Keyword [en]
gay and lesbian, migration, rural/urban, tolerance, life course, Sweden, Turkey
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Human Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-102850ISBN: 978-91-7447-920-1 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-102850DiVA: diva2:713583
Public defence
2014-06-05, William-Olssonsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 1: In press. Paper 3: Manuscript. Paper 4: Manuscript.

Available from: 2014-05-14 Created: 2014-04-23 Last updated: 2014-05-09
List of papers
1. The City as a Single Gay Male Magnet?: Gay and Lesbian Geographical Concentration in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The City as a Single Gay Male Magnet?: Gay and Lesbian Geographical Concentration in Sweden
2014 (English)In: Population, Space and Place, ISSN 1544-8444, E-ISSN 1544-8452, Vol. 20, no 8, 739-752 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

During the last two decades, an increasing number of studies on the geographies of gay and lesbian couples have been carried out, stressing the urban significance, tolerance, and amenities. In this study, it is argued that former studies have only mapped a fraction of the gay and lesbian population, that is, the couples, and present a new method for retrieving information from the Internet to map gay and lesbian singles and couples. The findings indicate that there is a significant difference between gay and lesbian singles and couples and that the urban significance is much stronger for singles than for couples. In the conclusion, it is suggested that a life course perspective could explain this where gay and lesbian singles tend to concentrate in cities, but when they have found a partner and decide to move together, the city is less important. Finally, a recommendation reconsidering partnership data is made as it can be problematical to generalise such data for a gay and lesbian population.

Keyword
gay and lesbian, concentration, urban, rural, internal migration
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Human Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-102889 (URN)10.1002/psp.1825 (DOI)000344480700006 ()
Available from: 2014-04-24 Created: 2014-04-24 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
2. Is It Really Tolerance? Expanding the Knowledge About Diversity for the Creative Class
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Is It Really Tolerance? Expanding the Knowledge About Diversity for the Creative Class
2014 (English)In: Tijdschrift voor economische en sociale geografie, ISSN 0040-747X, E-ISSN 1467-9663, Vol. 105, no 1, 46-63 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Among current theories on regional development the creative capital has received major attention. Several assessments of the theory have shown that tolerance and creativity cannot be ignored. However, as the focus in these assessments mainly has been to replicate the results of Richard Florida, they have put less emphasis on the issues the tolerance measures pose. This paper argues that tolerance has only been measured by diverse population and that this is insufficient. To solve this issue a variety of tolerance measures are introduced and underlying effects of other variables are tested for. Surprisingly, the only measure significant in the model is the bohemian measure. On the one hand, this renders support for the creative capital theory and suggests that attracting bohemian employees can gain economic growth. On the other hand, it problematises the tolerance concept and indicates that tolerance is hard to grasp and add to economic models.

Keyword
Regional development, creative class, tolerance, diversity, Sweden, regression
National Category
Economics and Business Human Geography
Research subject
Human Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-99640 (URN)10.1111/tesg.12044 (DOI)000330777200003 ()
Note

AuthorCount: 1:

Available from: 2014-01-15 Created: 2014-01-15 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
3. Migration motives of gay men in the new acceptance era: a cohort study from Malmö, Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Migration motives of gay men in the new acceptance era: a cohort study from Malmö, Sweden
2016 (English)In: Social & cultural geography (Print), ISSN 1464-9365, E-ISSN 1470-1197, Vol. 17, no 5, 605-622 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Greater diversity in life courses has become both possible and real in the twenty-first century, affecting the relocation behaviours of individuals. Therefore, it is logical that the relocation patterns of minorities have been receiving increasing attention. In particular, the migration patterns of gay men have been studied, with a focus on the embodied reasons for mobility. This downsized analysis has shown the importance of identity building and identity search. However, this article argues that analysis of migration among gay men also needs to be upsized. This study aims to show how both context and embodiment has affected the mobility of gay men. Through a case study within the context of a strong welfare state (Sweden) that adopted sexual equality early, gay men’s motives for migration are studied. The results suggest that the migration patterns of gay men are becoming more similar to those of the general population. This finding shows that current conceptualisations of the migration patterns of gay men can be advanced by acknowledging contextual effects. The integration of a downsized and an upsized understanding also offers the possibility of moving beyond the identity specifics showing that populations are becoming increasingly diverse and homogeneous simultaneously.

Abstract [fr]

Une plus grande diversité de parcours de vie est devenue possible et réelle au 21ème siècle, affectant les comportements de relocalisation des individus. Il est donc logique que les tendances de relocalisation des minorités aient suscité une attention croissante. En particulier, les tendances migratoires des hommes gays ont fait l’objet d’études, dont l’intérêt se focalisait sur les raisons incarnées de mobilité. Cette analyse à échelle réduite a montré l’importance de construction de l’identité et de recherche de l’identité. Pourtant, cet article soutient que l’analyse de la migration chez les hommes gays a aussi besoin d’être plus étendue. Cette étude a pour but de montrer comment le contexte et l’incarnation ont tous les deux affecté la mobilité des hommes gays. Les motivations des hommes gays pour la relocalisation sont étudiées à travers un cas d’étude dans le contexte d’un Etat-providence fort (la Suède), en avance en matière d’égalité sexuelle. Les résultats suggèrent que les tendances de migration des hommes gays ressemblent plus à celles de la population générale. Ce résultat montre que les conceptualisations actuelles des tendances de migration des hommes gays peuvent être avancées en reconnaissant les effets contextuels. L’intégration d’une compréhension à petite échelle et à grande échelle offre aussi la possibilité de dépasser les spécificités identitaires et de montrer que les populations deviennent simultanément plus diverses et plus homogènes.

Abstract [es]

Una mayor diversidad en el transcurso de la vida es posible y real en el siglo XXI, afectando los comportamientos de reubicación de las personas. Por lo tanto, es lógico que los patrones de reubicación de las minorías hayan estado recibiendo cada vez más atención. En particular, los patrones de migración de los hombres homosexuales se han estudiado con un enfoque en los motivos de realización para la movilidad. Este análisis reducido ha demostrado la importancia de la construcción de la identidad y la búsqueda de identidad. Sin embargo, este artículo sostiene que el análisis de la migración entre los hombres homosexuales también necesita ser ampliado. Este estudio tiene como objetivo mostrar cómo ambos contexto y modo de realización han afectado a la movilidad de los hombres gay. A través de un estudio de caso en el contexto de un estado con beneficios sociales sólidos (Suecia) que adoptó la igualdad sexual temprana, se estudian los motivos de los hombres gay para migrar. Los resultados sugieren que los patrones de migración de los hombres homosexuales son cada vez más similares a los de la población general. Este hallazgo demuestra que las conceptualizaciones actuales de los patrones de migración de hombres homosexuales pueden ser avanzadas mediante el reconocimiento de los efectos contextuales. La integración de un entendimiento reducido y ampliado también ofrece la posibilidad de ir más allá de los detalles de identidad que muestran que las poblaciones se están haciendo cada vez más diversas y homogéneas de forma simultánea.

Keyword
life course, gay men, migration motives, historical effects, Sweden, urban/rural, parcours de vie, motivations de migration, effets historiques, Suède, urbain/rural, transcurso de vida, hombres gay, motivos de migración, efectos históricos, Suecia, urbano/rural
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Human Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-102890 (URN)10.1080/14649365.2015.1112026 (DOI)000380066400001 ()
Available from: 2014-04-24 Created: 2014-04-24 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved
4. The impact of family ties on the mobility decisions of gay men and lesbians
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The impact of family ties on the mobility decisions of gay men and lesbians
2016 (English)In: Gender, Place and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography, ISSN 0966-369X, E-ISSN 1360-0524, Vol. 23, no 5, 659-676 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In the twenty-first century, life paths are becoming ever more unpredictable and unstandardised as lives are lived in more diverse ways. Theories of individualisation suggest that this is a sign of an increased focus on the individual and the weakening family ties. Gay and lesbian migration studies that have focused on the importance of individual identity and coming out fit well into this narrative. However, as most of these studies have been conducted in the West, less is known of the lives of gay men and lesbians in other contexts. This study examines how a non-Western context differs from the Western experience through a case study involving interviews with gay and lesbian individuals in Izmir, Turkey. The results of the interviews highlight four themes: (1) the importance of the family as both constraining and supportive, (2) the emergence of gay and lesbian identities in Turkey leading to different cohort experiences, (3) the significance of emotional ties and intergenerational living and (4) empowering educational and work trajectories. It is argued that gay and lesbian migration must be reconceptualised beyond the view of the family as an entity to escape from. Rather, the study highlights the significance of the family and demonstrates that while individuals are becoming more independent, family ties are not necessarily weakening. Instead other trajectories, such as education and employment function as empowering paths in order to support and sustain identities. Thus, in contexts where the act of coming out is challenging, the potential for other life course trajectories should be considered.

Keyword
life course, gay and lesbian, migration, queer, family, Turkey
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Human Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-102891 (URN)10.1080/0966369X.2015.1034246 (DOI)000371600500005 ()
Available from: 2014-04-24 Created: 2014-04-24 Last updated: 2017-12-05Bibliographically approved

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Output format
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