‘It’s Nothing Personal’: Anti-Homosexuality in the British Workplace
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Scholarship on homophobia has been critiqued for being individualistic and psychological, failing to account for structural inequalities, experiences of homophobia and discursive manifestations of homophobia. This Economic and Social Research Council funded study attempts to address some of these concerns by focusing on the experiences of lesbians, gay men and bisexuals (LGBs) in relation to bullying, harassment and discrimination in the British workplace. We examine what homophobia is understood to be and how psychological and organisational discourses make it difficult to make sense of negative experiences and how anti-homosexual attitudes and work environments are sustained and left unchallenged through the claim ‘it’s not personal’. Drawing on theories of selective incivility and modern discrimination, we illustrate how ambiguous anti-homosexual sentiments are, and argue that the term ‘homophobia’ not only prevents people from challenging negative experiences, but it further masks inequalities based on sexuality at work.
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