Die realiteit van homoseksualisme: 'n sosiologies kwalitatief ontleding (The reality of homosexualism: a sociological qualitative analysis)
Willem, Johannes Sohrink
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In this study titled: Die realiteit van homoseksualisme: 'n sosiologies kwalitatief ontleding (The reality of homosexualism: a sociological qualitative analysis) the symbolic tools used by sociologists in order to understand deviance and homosexualism is tried out in real life. The following aims were pursued in the study: To verify existing theoretical constructs of homosexualism and relevant deviancy constructs by means of an autobiography as a qualitative method of study, and to formulate these scientific "tools" in terms of the deviant. Consequently it could also be verified whether qualitative, sociological constructs offer an explanation for a homosexual's life. One man's conception of life, as recorded in his autobiography, is used to question existing concepts, typologies, models and theories of homosexualism. By reviewing the relevancy of central theoretical constructs by means of an authentic case, the aim was to promote the credibility of such second-order constructs and to obtain insight into the "gay" world in South Africa. To obtain information by means of the qualitative research method by using a personal document (autobiography) of a self-acclaimed homosexual's definition of his situation, his subjective experience and interpretation of values, norms, ideologies and the explanation of symbols. Thus an attempt was made to avoid statistical stereotyped images of deviant behaviour - often distant from reality by explaining and interpreting it qualitatively, A male homosexual in his own words wrote a thorough report on his life at the request of the researcher. Although the researcher excluded repetitive, meaningless and identifying sections in the subject's report in order to obtain a readable and coherent document , the authenticity of the account was maintained. Nuisance variables (i.e. variables threatening the validity of the research findings) were neutralized as far as possible and a valid, credible human document containing an abundance of data regarding the social reality of homosexualism was produced. Analytical induction, more specifically as adapted by the Winslows, was used to make inferences from the autobiography , The main theoretical constructs drawn as hypothetical explanations from existing literature on homosexualism and relating to the realities of a homosexual' s lifestyle, as contained in his autobiography, brought the following results to light: The various dimensions and nuances within homosexualism, according to sociologists, proved to be useful instruments in understanding and explaining the homosexual's lifestyle. Classifications by sociologists of homosexualism in terms of sexual roles, ways of expression and lifestyle, offer a good frame of reference for analysing the "gay" life. The biological theory does not fit the homosexual's life whilst one variant of the psychiatric conceptual frame of reference offers a good explanation for the social reality of the homosexual. Sociological theories and models of homosexualism focusing on causality do not offer an explanation for the subject's becoming "skeef" (queer). Non-causality theoretical constructs in general and homosexual development models in particular explain the homosexual life exceptionally well. Three conceptual frameworks, namely the labelling, conflict and phenomenological approaches, according to which sociologists give meaning to deviancy; throw light in an exceptional way on some of the facets of the subject's bomosexualism. Finally the primary methodological and to a lesser extent the theoretical implications of the research on the sociology of deviance we re touched upon. Some important guidelines to be considered in future qualitative research and autobiographical research were also described.
- Humanities