Social networks, language and identity negotiations among queer migrants in Scotland

Stella, F. and Gawlewicz, A. (2021) Social networks, language and identity negotiations among queer migrants in Scotland. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 47(11), pp. 2537-2555. (doi: 10.1080/1369183X.2020.1863203)

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In this article, we explore queer migrants’ social networks and the role language plays in how they negotiate companionship, romance and sex within queer community and diasporic environments. We draw on interviews with 56 self-identified LGBT migrants from Central and Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union living in Scotland, UK. In doing so, we bring into conversation and critically engage with perspectives from queer migration literature and from work on migrants’ social networks and language use. In the article, we show how language underpins access to English-speaking and ethnic social circles, and how it is powerfully bound up with emotions, affect and perceptions of social proximity or distance. We argue for the need to move beyond abstract notions of queer or diasporic communities, and for an exploration of queer migrants’ sociality grounded in their personal communities, social networks and the language(s) used within them. We argue that this approach can better capture queer migrants’ complex identity negotiations and diverse sources of support and belonging, without assuming the primacy of either sexuality or ethnicity.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The support of the Economic and Social Research Council under grant reference number ES/ L009307/1 is gratefully acknowledged.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Gawlewicz, Dr Anna and Stella, Dr Francesca
Authors: Stella, F., and Gawlewicz, A.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Journal Name:Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN (Online):1469-9451
Published Online:29 December 2020
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2020 The Authors
First Published:First published in Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 47(11): 2537-2555
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
190774Intimate migrations: exploring the experiences of LGB migrants from Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union in ScotlandFrancesca StellaEconomic and Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/L009307/1S&PS - Sociology