Social Science Forum 73 (XXIX)

Homophobia - a unifying experience?

Roman Kuhar, Judit Takács

ABSTRACT: Introduction to the thematic block

>> Download

How to measure homophobia in an international comparison?

Judit Takács, Ivett Szalma

ABSTRACT: How to measure homophobia in internationally comparable ways is a central issue of the present study. Our main goal was to compare attitudes on homophobia in 26 European countries as measured by different variables within two large-scale longitudinal surveys, the European Social Survey and the European Values Study, with both following multistage probabilistic sampling plans, in order to enable a better understanding of the main determinants of homophobic attitudes at the individual as well as country levels. Our dependent variables were the following: the ‘ justification’ of homosexuality, non-preference for homosexual neighbours, and acceptance of gay men and lesbian women (agreement with the statement that gay men and lesbians should be free to live their own life as they wish). We constructed multilevel fixed- -effects linear regression and multilevel logistic regression models in order to test our hypotheses regarding the validity of our homophobia measurement instruments as well as the effects of socio-demographic, attitudinal and country-level variables on homophobic attitudes.

KEY WORDS: homophobia, European Social Survey, European Values Study, multilevel regression

>> Download

Heteronormativity in secondary schools in Zagreb: Young men wearing make-up, kissing and walking proudly

Nataša Bijelić, Amir Hodžić

ABSTRACT: This paper analyses the presence and characteristics of heteronormativity in the context of the Croatian school system by focusing on secondary schools in the capital of Zagreb. We base our analysis on the results of a survey on opinions and attitudes regarding homosexuality conducted on a sample of 322 students and 117 teachers in nine secondary schools. The research reveals that stereotypes and prejudice towards lesbians and gays are omnipresent and widespread. Both students and teachers hold highly discriminatory attitudes concerning the visible/public expression of non-heteronormative gender and sexual identities. In addition, almost one-third of all students reported having resorted to verbal/physical violence against a person because of their alleged homosexual orientation. Moreover, we explore the research findings in relation to the (non)existence and (in)visibility of LGBT issues in school curricula and textbooks. In addition, we consider the recent (September 2012) introduction of a Health Education curriculum which for the first time introduces into Croatian schooling the topics of “acceptance of sexual diversity” and “stigmatisation and discrimination of sexual minorities”. Finally, we outline public debates and reactions to this ‘introduction of homosexuality to Croatian schools’ coming from the Croatian Catholic Church and faith-based organisations.

KEY WORDS: secondary schools, Croatia, young people, homosexuality, sexuality education

>> Download

"For me it's just normal" - Strategies of children and young people from rainbow families against de-normalization. The case of Slovenia and Germany.

Ana M. Sobočan, Uli Streib Brzič

ABSTRACT: The paper presents some findings from an international study called “School is out – Experiences of children from rainbow families in school” which explored how children and young people from rainbow families anticipate, experience and deal with schools as heteronormative spaces. In the research, the term de-normalisation was developed to describe the processes by which children with LGBT-identified parents are perceived and constructed as not normal, as classified beyond the ‘hetero-normative normality’, which is expressed through ‘othering’ by others, for example in interaction. To avoid, prevent or reduce the impacts of de-normalisation processes, the interviewed children and youth have developed different strategies which we present in two frames: one involving disclosure and concealment and the other involving verbalisations and justifications. Based on these insights and findings, the article also outlines ideas on the resilience factors against de-normalisation and emphasises the importance of children and youth not standing alone against it.

KEY WORDS: : Rainbow families, children in rainbow families, de-normalisation, heteronormativity, school, normality, homophobia, resilience

>> Download

Silence or condemnation: The Orthodox Church on homosexuality in Serbia

Miloš Jovanović

ABSTRACT: The article deals with the representation of the gay population in the discourse of the Serbian Orthodox Church. The declarations of Church bodies and officials, as well as unofficial public statements of prominent believers regarding gay persons are analysed. There is an ambivalent attitude towards gay people that is usually expressed in the ‘hate the sin, love the sinner’ formula. There is also a different kind of ambivalence: the Serbian Orthodox Church as well as its faithful either stick to the ‘policy of silence’ regarding LGBT(Q) issues, or they resort to a very strong moralistic judgment and condemnation. This was particularly noticeable around the time of the gay parade taking place in Belgrade in 2010, as well as during the public discussion before the passing of the anti-discrimination law in the national assembly in 2009. The inclusion of philosophical and medical concepts in theological discourse can also be ascertained. As a result, besides the expected ‘sin’, the categories of ‘unnatural/contrary to nature’ and ‘(mental) illness’ are often mentioned in the Church discourse, which is usually saturated with accentuated anti-Westernism.

KEY WORDS:  gay population, Serbian Orthodox Church, ambivalent attitude, moralistic condemnation

>> Download

Governance: Government, governing, management or a new term »vladovanje«?

Irena Bačlija, Gaja Červ, Maja Turnšek-Hančič

ABSTRACT: This article provides a short contextualisation of use of the term governance at the international level and its uptake in Slovenian political and communication sciences. The authors then focus upon the lack of a clear consensus regarding the translation and definition of the term in Slovenian literature. They provide an analysis of Gigafida, the main corpus of the Slovenian language, concerning how the term governance is translated and used in the Slovenian language. The authors critically juxtapose the concepts of governance with the main current translations: government, governing and public administration and management. Finally, the authors propose that governance should be conceptualised as part of a newly coined term “vladovanje” (Splichal 2008) since the absence of such a completely new term reduces the accuracy of Slovenian terminology.

KEY WORDS: governance, government, governing, public administration, public management

>> Download

Implementation factors of soft EU legislation in the field of gender equality. An example of the balanced representation of women and men in decision-making processes.

Simona Topolinjak

ABSTRACT:  This paper examines various implementation factors of the European Union’s soft policy in the field of gender equality in Slovenia. We focus on implementation of the principle of the balanced representation of women and men in decision-making processes in the fields of politics, science and the economy, where the proportion of women in top positions remains low. Based on an analysis of EU and Slovenian legislation and interviews with relevant governmental and non-governmental actors at the EU and national levels, it was found that because of the adopted soft law in this area it is the national government, which can select public policy instruments and adapt them to its own aspirations, that is the most important player when it comes to implementation. Pressure from the EU was stronger in the accession negotiations when Slovenia was joining the EU and also when interest groups work together.

KEY WORDS:  implementation of public policy, soft law, Slovenia, EU, gender equality

>> Download