Matter out of Place: Visibility and Sexualities in Leisure Spaces

Skeggs, Bev. 1999. Matter out of Place: Visibility and Sexualities in Leisure Spaces. Leisure Studies, 18, pp. 213-232. ISSN 0261-4367 [Article]

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This paper draws on longitudinal ethnographic research conducted between 1981 and 1992 with white working class women (published as Formations of Class and Gender , Skeggs, 1997) and preliminary research begun in 1997 (with Les Moran and Carole Truman), later funded by the Economic and Social Research Council entitled Violence, Sexuality and Space , which compares the use of space by three different groups: gay men, lesbians and straight women in two different cities. Both these projects have Manchester's ‘gay village’ as a context, enabling exploration of the significance of homosexualized leisure space for understanding how identities become spatialized and how political claims are made and not made. The paper analyses the contrasts between a group of white working class women whose identity is based on dis-identification, dissimulation, mis-recognition and a desire for invisibility, and group of lesbians who form their identity through visibility, recognition and territorialization. The comparison between how different groups use leisure space begins an investigation into an empirical understanding of the relationship between leisure space, sexuality, identity and legitimation. The paper explores the consequences of these different processes for ‘the politics of recognition’. It puts together a range of cross-disciplinary work, from feminist theory, political theory, cultural studies, cultural geography, sociology, leisure studies and queer theory.

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Date Deposited:

28 Sep 2015 11:22

Last Modified:

07 Jul 2017 12:47

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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