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A “gentle violence”?: former students’ experiences of homophobia and transphobia in British Columbia high schools

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Thesis type
(Thesis) M.A.
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Academics in a variety of disciplines are calling attention to bullying motivated by homophobia in high schools. Building on these efforts, this thesis provides an in-depth analysis of focus groups and interviews with 16 lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, two-spirit, or queer (LGBTTQ) young people who recently left a British Columbia high school in which they believe they experienced homophobic or transphobic (HTP) bullying. The participants provide insight about the context of the bullying, the effects of those experiences, and discuss why they think HTP persists in high schools and how it can be addressed. Special attention is given to more positive experiences and outcomes. Drawing on Foucault and Bourdieu, the author argues for greater attention to less obvious, “gentle” forms of violence and suggests that school administrators take a more holistic approach to creating a positive environment for the LGBTTQ youth in their high schools.
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