'Gagged grief and beleaguered bereavements?' An analysis of multidisciplinary theory and research relating to same sex partnership bereavement

Lorraine Green, Victoria Grant

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    This article evaluates and synthesizes research and literature from the so ial sciences, in order to theorize a much neglected area, same sex partnership bereavement. Traditional psychological theories of bereavement are analysed and critiqued, alongside sociological insights not only related to death, dying and grief, but to stigma, emotion work and invoked notions of contamination and pollution. Mainstream psychological theories of bereavement are exposed as being inherently flawed unless modified in relation to 'disenfranchised grief'. This concept bridges sociological and psychological understandings, and can also accommodate the potential impact of historical and contemporary oppression on people of diverse sexualities. Traditional identity and postmodern 'queer' perspectives, related to sexuality, are also incorporated in order to avoid homogenizing the experiences of people bereaved within same sex relationships and to make explicit both diversity and similarity. Overall, the article demonstrates how and why bereaved gay people may be particularly at risk of stigmatized and disenfranchised grief, whilst simultaneously highlighting the need for more empirical and theoretical attention to be paid to this important issue. © SAGE Publications, Inc. 2008.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)275-300
    Number of pages25
    JournalSexualities
    Volume11
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008

    Keywords

    • Bereavement
    • Death
    • Disenfranchised grief
    • Homosexuality
    • Oppression
    • Psychiatrization

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