Political Awareness and Self-Blame in the Explanatory Narratives of LGBT People Amid the Anti-LGBT Campaign in Russia

Sexuality & Culture: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly, Vol. 18, No. 4, December 2014

26 Pages Posted: 26 Feb 2015

See all articles by Irina V. Soboleva

Irina V. Soboleva

Columbia University - Department of Political Science

Yaroslav Bakhmetjev

National Research University Higher School of Economics

Date Written: December 31, 2014

Abstract

How do homo- and bi-sexual people explain the launch of a homophobia campaign that violates their basic human rights? Which narratives do they use to adjust to the hostile environment? On the basis of 77 in-depth problem-centered interviews with LGBT in Russia we explore the explanations they use to talk about their experience of a homophobia campaign. Respondents demonstrate their awareness of the political reasoning behind the campaign and explain it as a tool for electoral mobilization, the repression of pro-Western oriented opposition and as a part of biopolitical technologies adopted by the government to increase its control over people's bodies and minds. Contrary to intuitive expectations, this political awareness does not protect the informants from self-blame, social escapism and moral suffering.

Keywords: LGBT, homophobia, anti-gay campaign in Russia, narrative analysis, protests in Russia

Suggested Citation

Soboleva, Irina V. and Bakhmetjev, Yaroslav, Political Awareness and Self-Blame in the Explanatory Narratives of LGBT People Amid the Anti-LGBT Campaign in Russia (December 31, 2014). Sexuality & Culture: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly, Vol. 18, No. 4, December 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2569478

Irina V. Soboleva

Columbia University - Department of Political Science ( email )

MC3320
420 West 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States

Yaroslav Bakhmetjev (Contact Author)

National Research University Higher School of Economics ( email )

Myasnitskaya street, 20
Moscow, Moscow 119017
Russia

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