Connection as central: exploring the meaning of social justice activism for sexual minority women and transgender individuals

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Publication Type dissertation
School or College College of Education
Department Educational Psychology
Author Hagen, Whitney Blythe
Title Connection as central: exploring the meaning of social justice activism for sexual minority women and transgender individuals
Date 2013-08
Description Feminist multicultural therapists assert that contextual factors, such as oppression and discrimination, contribute to psychological distress, limited access to resources and information, as well as social isolation. They suggest that participation in social justice activism contributes to psychological benefits, such as increased empowerment, social connectedness, and resilience. Sexual minority women (SMW) and transgender individuals have a strong history of participating in activism and creating social change. However, little is known about what social justice activism means to these populations. This research describes the experiences and meanings of social justice activism for 20 SMW and transgender individuals. A grounded theory qualitative design employed the use of initial interviews, follow-up interviews, and feedback interviews. A conceptual model emerged that depicted the social justice experiences of these participants. Social justice held different meanings for the participants based on their social identities, values, and experiences of oppression and privilege. The results indicated that social justice activism was an intensely relational experience for SMW and transgender participants. They described the struggles and benefits associated with their activist work. The conceptual model may be used by clinicians to conceptualize the experiences and meanings of social justice activism, including specific strategies activists may utilize that reflect their understanding of activism, as well as the psychological benefits derived from creating positive social change.
Type Text
Publisher University of Utah
Subject Activism; Bisexual; Lesbian; Queer; Social justice; Transgender
Dissertation Institution University of Utah
Dissertation Name Doctor of Philosophy
Language eng
Rights Management Copyright © Whitney Blythe Hagen 2013
Format Medium application/pdf
Format Extent 1,790,575 bytes
Identifier etd3/id/2527
ARK ark:/87278/s64t9shp
Setname ir_etd
Date Created 2013-11-22
Date Modified 2017-08-17
ID 196103
Reference URL https://collections.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s64t9shp