Masculinity, Racist Experiences and Repudiation Of Homosexuality: How To Deal With Research Results In a Racist Public Discourse?

Saturday, July 19, 2014: 3:35 PM
Room: F202
Oral Presentation
Kiyoshi OZAWA , Faculity of Education, University of Oldenburg, Oldenburg, Germany
Rudolf LEIPRECHT , Faculty of Educational and Social Sciences, Carl-von-Ossietzky University, Oldenburg, Germany
The results of our empirical studies about male youth in Germany show that young immigrants are often confronted with institutional and everyday racism, experienced as a form of stereotype threat. At the same time, they are actively stereotyping and discriminating others. As researchers, we are challenged to not only take seriously racist experiences, but also to deal with the young men’s discriminatory practices, in particular the rejection of homosexuality and homosexuals, closely connected with complex images of masculinity and doing masculinity in peer-groups. Additionaly, the experience of homosexual immigrants who with discrimination must be taken into account.

However, the publication of such results is problematic: In some European countries a tolerant and open attitude towards homosexuality has become a cornerstone of judging the potential ability of immigrants’ successful integration. In these discourses often two racialised images are constructed: the native ‘own people’ are contrasted by ‘Muslim immigrants’. While the former constitutes the ‘tolerant’ side, void of any negative attitudes towards gay and lesbian people, the latter is constructed as deeply homophobic. These discourses have polarizing effects and facilitate exclusionary attitudes towards immigrants. In this constellation the publication of research results about the intersectionality of masculinity, racist experiences and negative attitudes towards homosexuality becomes a walk on the ridge. We have noticed that the focus of attention is shifted to ‘their’ homophobia which is constructed as an effect of Muslim culture and its primitive and uncivilized patriarchal values, while the racism experiences of the young men are then usually pushed into the backgrounds.

In our paper we will present key findings of our studies and we will share our experiences with the publication of such results. Our aim is a discussion not only about ethical considerations and responsibilities but also about how to actively engage in altering the racist public discourse.