Thesis working title - 'After the Act: Narratives of Display and the Significance of Civil Partnership'.
Jeffery Weeks (2007: 3) has suggested that attitudes towards sexual minorities have shifted, and this is supported by debates around ‘transformations of intimacy’ that have documented these changes. Also, in 2005 the introduction of civil partnership, in some respects might indicate that how same-sex relationships are represented has shifted.
In the recent project by Heaphy and colleagues 2013 at The University of Manchester, their analysis of younger civil partners’ stories (aged 35<) indicated that their same-sex couples felt able to live more ordinary lives, than older generations were able to two decades ago.
But what kind of impact, if any, have these changing representations and social attitudes had on lesbian and gay people and same-sex couples’ relational lives. This is the focus of my small scale PhD project. I am tentatively proposing that we can assess the significance that the availability of civil partnership has on civil partners’ relational lives if we examine their relationships and encounters with five different others.
If who and what we can be are changing, then it should be evident from the kinds of encounters that we have with others.
Therefore, I examine the stories that 43 male and female civil partners (aged 30 to 60) tell about their selves, the couples’ relationship, relationships with significant others, their dialogues with imagined communities and generalised others, and encounters with acquaintances and strangers in different public settings and situations.
Methods that I have used in this project include: narrative interviews, time-lines, and photo-elicitation. Interactionist theories and Giele and Elder’s (1998) Life-course Approach.
Analytically, I am developing and refining Janet Finch’s (2007) concept of ‘Displaying Family relationships’ and ‘audiences’.
Planned submission date
Awarded TA Scholarship 2010-2013
Civil partnership and gay marriage, Relational and everyday lives, everyday life, ‘display’, personal life/relationships, same-sex relationships, lesbian and gay identities, life-course.
Methodologies I use include: interactionist methodologies, narrative interviews, and photo-elicitation.
Topics of interest that I am interested in developing further: the ‘relational impacts of dementia’, ‘the experiences of relational lives at the end-of-a-life,’ and ‘micro-politics of display and narratives that are told at lesbian and gay people’s funerals’
Publications and reports
Brown, A., Temple-Malt, E., (2011). ‘A Feminist Critique of Outdated Constructions of Gender: A response to Zucker et al. (1999)’. Psychology of Women Section Review. 13. (1)
Norman, H., and Temple-Malt, E., (June 2013): ‘Institutional barriers to gender and BME diversity among students and postdoctoral researchers in Engineering and Physical Sciences’ (Unpublished Report)
Conferences, invited presentations and guest lectures
Presentations and conferences
April 2011 ‘The Pretended/Authentic (Lesbian and Gay) Family Relationship’: The Transition of representations of lesbian and gay family relationships from Pretend to Authentic in Parliamentary Debates for Introduction and Repeal of Section 28 – PECANS Legal Transformations conference, The University of Westminster, London
April 2013 ‘Making Sense of Civil Partnership: Situated Locations and Chronicled Lives’ and ‘Walking a fine Line’: balancing ethical demands with participant’s difficult memories’ – Families and Relationships Stream at the BSA Annual Conference, London
June 2013 ‘Involving Significant Others: The Imagined Ceremony as a site of Relational Investment, (re)negotiation and disruption – Creative Intentions, The University of Manchester
June 2013 ‘Walking a fine Line’: balancing ethical demands with participant’s difficult memories’ –CRFR International Conference, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh
April 2014 ‘Involving Significant Others’ and ‘Encounters with Acquaintances and Strangers’ – Families and Relationships Stream at the BSA Annual Conference, Leeds
May 2014 ‘The Announcement’, Sociology Seminar Series, The University of Manchester
2011 ‘(Mis)Representing Lesbian and Gay Relationships’ guest talk given to students on the Gender, Sexuality and Culture module, The University of Manchester
2012 ‘Putting Giddens to the Test, Civil Partnership and Other Stories’ guest talk given to students on the Gender, Sexuality and Culture module, The University of Manchester
November 2012 ‘Telling Tales: Dealing with Triumphs, Tears and Tantrums’ guest lecture given to Sociology Dissertation students, The University of Manchester February 2013 ‘Involving Significant Others: The Imagined Ceremony as a site of Relational Investment, (re)negotiation and disruption’ – Guest Lecture for third year undergraduate sociology students, The University of Manchester
February 2013 ‘Involving Significant Others’: Talk at LGBT History Month, The University of Manchester
November 2013 ‘Telling Tales: Dealing with Triumphs, Tears and Tantrums’ guest lecture given to Sociology Dissertation students, The University of Manchester
The University of Manchester: Teaching Assistant in Sociology (2010-current)
I have taught on a variety of undergraduate sociology tutorials over a period of four years: these include ‘Gender, Sexuality and Culture’, ‘Life-stories and Biographical interviews’, ‘Self and Society’, ‘Sociology of Personal Life’, ‘British Society in a Globalising World’, ‘Modernity –Postmodernity I’ and ‘Modernity Postmodernity II’.
Bath Spa University: Teaching Assistant Psychology (October - December 2009)
Facilitated tutorials in ‘introduction to psychology’, ‘Themes in Developmental Psychology’, ‘Psychology Research Methods: Quantitative and Qualitative’. This was a temporary position covering maternity and sick leave
The University of Manchester: Widening Participation Fellow, Sociology (2011, 2012, 2013)
I held the post of ‘widening participation fellow’ at The University of Manchester for the past three years. This comprised designing and delivering workshops to both under and over 16s. Students were introduced to themes in Sociology and also aimed to illustrate what studying at university is like.
I have developed workshops that were accessible and age-appropriate and designed them to meet the needs of a variety of learners’ abilities and levels (the participants in the workshops were secondary school pupils (yr 7-11) and college students (yr12-13).
I have delivered ‘Gateways Days’, which are a suite of days aimed at secondary school pupils. I also organised and delivered 2 Discover Sociology Days (November 2012, November 2013). Both days required me to give talks to about 40-50 students.
As a WP fellow I have also delivered lectures and workshop activities to over 16s in schools that promote ‘studying humanities’. I have also delivered EPQ (Extended Project Qualification) lectures/workshops to college students. These workshops talk them through the process of designing and doing small research projects. I have also tutored and supported students with their MAP (Manchester Access Programme) assignments.
Research assistance experience:
The University of Manchester: Research Assistant to Prof C Fagan and Dr H Norman (2013-2014)
I have provided research assistance to Prof Colette Fagan and Dr Helen Norman since 2013. This has mainly involved conducting literature searches and summaries for reports, performing basic analysis of gender pay gaps at British universities which illustrate continuing gendered inequalities regarding the salaries of men and women.
I provided research assistance with Athena Swan Project which was financed by the EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council). The aim of the project was to explore factors that lead to a reduced pool of talent in Engineering and Physical Sciences. I assisted with the design of the project (including sampling and recruitment, interview schedules) and was the lead interviewer in focus groups.
I also assisted with analysis of the data and co-authored a report (June 2013): ‘Institutional barriers to gender and BME diversity among students and postdoctoral researchers in Engineering and Physical Sciences’ with Dr Helen Norman. This report included making policy recommendations from our findings.
An ‘impact’ of our work is that the report will be drawn on in the University submission to the parliamentary committee on women's under-representation in STEM subjects.
Department of Sociology
Arthur Lewis Building