"Making do with things we cannot change": an interpretive phenomenological analysis of relationship resilience among gay men in Singapore

Bin Ibrahim, Muhamad Alif, and Barlas, Joanna (2021) "Making do with things we cannot change": an interpretive phenomenological analysis of relationship resilience among gay men in Singapore. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 38 (9). pp. 2630-2652.

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Despite evolving social and political attitudes, many countries, including Singapore, still do not recognize couples in same-sex relationships. Much remains to be understood about the processes and strategies that help these couples maintain their relationships, especially in Asian societies. This study explored the ways in which gay men in intimate relationships safeguarded their relationships and remained resilient in Singapore. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine gay men in long-term relationships. The data were analyzed using interpretive phenomenological analysis. The analysis generated three superordinate themes, a) Making do with things we cannot change, b) Remaining resilient through social and financial capital, and c) Our love is stronger than the challenges we face. The emergent themes pointed to the ways in which participants coped with or shielded themselves against socio-political stressors that negatively impacted their relationships in the Singapore context. While some participants sought solace in families of choice, many learned to accept socio-political situations beyond their control. Most participants made do with implicit recognition as they were unwilling to disrupt social harmony. Others used their financial security to overcome structural barriers such as obtaining legal elements of heterosexual marriage. Findings may further current understanding of the ways in which gay couples remain resilient despite the relational challenges in different cultural contexts.

Item ID: 68071
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1460-3608
Keywords: Coping, gay couples, IPA, resilience, Singapore, socio-political stressors
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2021.
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2021 04:53
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5205 Social and personality psychology > 520505 Social psychology @ 50%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4410 Sociology > 441004 Social change @ 25%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4410 Sociology > 441008 Sociology of culture @ 25%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280123 Expanding knowledge in human society @ 50%
13 CULTURE AND SOCIETY > 1399 Other culture and society > 139999 Other culture and society not elsewhere classified @ 50%
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