Original Research

A social constructionist approach to resilience for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer and/or questioning academics and students in South African universities

Jacques Rothmann
Transformation in Higher Education | Vol 3 | a34 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/the.v3i0.34 | © 2018 Jacques Rothmann | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 November 2017 | Published: 29 January 2018

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Jacques Rothmann, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Humanities, North-West University, South Africa

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This article provides a theoretical contemplation on how reciprocation of an assimilationist, liberationist and/or transgressive approach by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer and/or questioning (LGBTIQ+) individuals on university campuses may encourage transformation initiatives in South African universities. The author ascribe to the contributions of previous research studies on a social constructionist approach to resilience to debate how individuals potentially navigate the disparity between sexual structure and agency within their ideological and physical construction and enactment of their academic and student persona. A theoretical basis is provided for the influence of social resilience to emphasise the localised, intersectional and plural experiences of LGBTIQ+ individuals as opposed to a monolithic and universal ‘either/or’ account of their being solely docile victims or free agents in a heteronormative context.


Homosexuality; social constructionism; social resilience.


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