‘A REAL LESBIAN WOULDN’T TOUCH A BISEXUAL WITH A BARGEPOLE’

Contesting boundaries within the construction of collective identity. Abstract

Drawn from an investigation associated with construction of collective identification in DIVA mag between 1994 and 2004, this informative article considers the contestation that is discursive of boundaries necessarily, though never ever straightforwardly, erected along the way. Analysing first a variety of articles and 2nd (and much more significantly) debates about who ‘we’ have been in and between visitors’ letters, this article centers on the ‘trouble’ posed by bisexuality in this age. Visitors draw on and competition a cluster of interrelated characterisations of bisexuals: as undecided, as type of pollutant, and also as insufficient facsimiles of ‘real lesbians’, along with pretty much available characterisations of ‘us’. These arguments are necessarily handled editorially, and always ‘end’ with telephone calls for acceptance. This doesn’t completely recover the ambiguity with which bisexuality is managed, but, additionally the article concludes by speaking about the dilemma(s) faced by the thought community.

Introduction

The work delivered right right here arises from a study for the construction of collective identification in DIVA, Britain’s very first main-stream commercial lesbian mag, in its very very very first decade on the net (1994 2004).

Not surprisingly, it along with other lesbian magazines have actually gone live sex cams mostly untouched by academics. Although we have actually considerable records of females’s life style mags like Cosmopolitan (see, e.g. Chang, 2004 ; Machin & van Leeuwen, 2003 ; Machin & Thornborrow, 2003 ; McMahon, 1990 ; Ouellette, 1999 ) or teenage publications (Carpenter, 1998 ; Massoni, 2004 , 2006 ; Schlenker, Caron, & Halteman, 1998 ; have all written about Seventeen alone), extremely work that is little been done on lesbian mags. Also without contrast to your considerable literary works on ladies’ (and, considering that the very early 2000s, guys’s) mags, your body of work addressing lesbian publications appears little. Koller ( 2008 ), Driver ( 2007 ) and Lewis ( 1997 ) consist of texts from lesbian publications within their studies (as well as in reality all consist of articles from DIVA), and lots of bigger scale studies of US homosexual and lesbian publications exist (see Cutler, 2003 ; Esterberg, 1990 ; Streitmatter, 1993 , and especially Sender, 2001 , 2003 , 2004 ), but hardly any other researcher has scrutinised A uk lesbian magazine with any comprehensive remit.

The research from where this analysis is taken ended up being largely motivated by a want to deal with this space inside our knowledge, and therefore a sample that is sizeable including all 95 problems of DIVA published involving the launch problem in May 1994 that will 2004, ended up being opted for. This time around duration had not been therefore arbitrary a variety as it can appear; being the first ever to critically examine this text with an intention in discourses of identity needed the analysis of a considerable period of manufacturing, and also this test allows an extensive diachronic analysis across a time period of crucial social modification. It bridges two completely different years, ten years when the Uk lesbian (to make use of an inadequate but expedient construct) underwent significant alterations in regards to politics, legislation and her presence in main-stream news (cf. Turner, 2009 ). Generally speaking, desire to would be to create a synopsis of DIVA across ten years, explaining accurately the existence and/or absence of, or modifications to, specific faculties of this magazine’s content; to explore the contexts of the faculties; also to pursue a much deeper, hermeneutic analysis associated with substance associated with mag and its particular (re)construction of lesbian identification.

Although the analysis presented in this specific article is predominantly discursive (see below for my way of the specific texts analysed), a blended technique approach ended up being taken, as well as the conversation comes with insights garnered utilizing two extra and complementary methods: (quantitative) content analysis and (semi organized) interviews with key staff that is editorial. Content analysis had been carried out using each mag (coding kinds of content), each article (coding topic and person reference) and every advertisement (coding item, frequency and size) while the device of research, permitting a types of ‘mapping’ of this test. The interviews, with founding editor Frances Williams, her successor Gillian Rodgerson, present deputy editor and very long time staff journalist Louise Carolin and Kim Watson, that is now Millivres’ news and advertising manager but served for several years in advertising product sales and advertising, had been directed by Chouliaraki and Fairclough’s ( 1999 , p. 62) advocacy of ethnographic operate in discourse analytic jobs to be able to explore ‘the values, values and desires’ of individuals. The interviews had been created as a method of learning more about the founding associated with the mag, its staff (functions, routines and regulations), the emotions of these in jobs of energy, the imperatives put down because of the publisher therefore the relationship between DIVA and its particular visitors.