By Yvette Taylor
This is often an unique examine of ladies self-identified as working-class and lesbian, displaying the importance of sophistication and sexuality of their biographies, daily lives and identities. It presents perception, a critique of queer concept and an empirical interrogation of the embodied, spatial and fabric intersection of sophistication and sexuality.
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Additional info for Working-Class Lesbian Life: Classed Outsiders
I have noted the difficulty in defining class, given the various categorisations and classifications used. Yet my concern is not so much about what class is, or could be, but rather with the meanings and experiences of being ‘working-class’; what class does. I argue for the continued validity of class identifications suggesting that the ability to be ‘ambivalent’, ‘self-reflexive’ and ‘mobile’ with regard to identity claims is a particular classed resource. Simply voicing an interest in class can be contentious, whereas my concern with sexuality is sometimes seen as Reviewing the Literature 31 the ‘interesting’ and redeemable part of my research (Taylor, 2005a).
There is a simultaneous process of challenge and conformity, of blaming the self. The problem lies with the one who has got it, after all they are the ones ‘mouthing off’. ’ to try and find out what you are. The Manchester group discusses the frequency and implication of such a question, challenging and rejecting the class basis for this: I get embarrassed by people who try to put you in a different light and it embarrasses me ’cause they’re acting like somebody and they’re putting it on for other people and I find it really very embarrassing.
Yet there is a felt difference and inequality responsible for generating these ‘stereotypes’ of middle-class individuals, generated though encounters with classed ‘others’. W Working-class lesbians still have to deal with the legitimised, typically negative, characteristics associated with working-classness: a stereotype worn proudly at home can easily be turned inside out within society. Interviewees constantly negotiated, revised and even perpetuated these beliefs. In a classed society, no-one can speak of class without reference to these terms when dis/identifying themselves.
Working-Class Lesbian Life: Classed Outsiders by Yvette Taylor