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A Grounded Theory of Liberated Identity: Lesbians transcending oppression

Author(s): Amy Russell, Ph.D., LMSW

Journal: Grounded Theory Review : an International Journal
ISSN 1556-1542

Volume: 10;
Issue: 1;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: lesbians | liberated identity | spirituality | political | classic grounded theory

The purpose of this study was to generate theory that emerged based on the conceptualized data from interviews with lesbian women through Classic Grounded Theory methodology. Theory generation is grounded in the unique perspectives of lesbian women’s experience in cultural contexts. This is a strengths-based process that focuses on how participants meet challenges in culture, rather than how they are consumed by them. From the data, a basic social process emerged that is both complex and paradoxical: transcending oppression through liberating one’s identity. The paradox lies in the aspect that from a lesbian woman’s pain comes her strength. This difference, lesbian identity, is also the source of strength. This paradox is compounded with the awareness that culture negates lesbian loving relationships. There are three stages to lesbian liberated identity: authenticating, reconciling, and integrating. Application to and implications for professionals and academics are presented.Keywords: lesbians, liberated identity, spirituality, political, classic grounded theory
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