This participatory youth ethnography—utilising interviews, focus-groups, observational diaries, and artwork—explores young people’s differing attitudes to current sexual equalities in a former ship-building community in Northern England. Adapting Raymond Williams’ cultural Marxist framework on class, it identifies three intersecting repertoires of transition: a dominant liberal disposition of “inclusive sexualities”, based on the universal rights of the individual; a residual repertoire that recuperates masculinist tropes of patriarchy and “hardness”, associated with the passing industrial era; and an emergent paradigm that seeks to “trouble” and destabilise gender categories. We argue that place, locality, and labour market geographies critically impact upon the types of gender and sexual identities deemed “appropriate”, situating possibilities for enacting social justice through equality legislation. The participatory ethnography critically examines the spatial circulation, accumulation, and dissipation of gender and sexual equalities in young lives, identifying possibilities and challenges for future transformation.
Bibliographical noteEconomic and Social Research Council. Grant Number: ES/M500513/1
- gender equality
- Raymond Williams
- young people