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Queering Representation: Ethics and Visibility in Research

Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Publication Date
  • Hm Sociology
  • Hq The Family. Marriage. Woman
  • Linguistics
  • Philosophy
  • Social Sciences


This article explores some of the ethical and epistemological dilemmas that arose from a cross-national research project on lesbian motherhood in two European countries, Sweden and Ireland. The differing contexts for sexual citizenship presented particular challenges in relation to negotiating wider norms regarding visibility. Lesbian mothers in Sweden presented a discourse of openness that strongly advocated visibility and the importance of social research in contributing to social change. In contrast to their Swedish counterparts, lesbian mothers in Ireland were more constrained in their efforts to negotiate their claims via visibility and this led to complex choices for the researcher, particularly in relation to contact with popular media.

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