Year of grant:

Research Area:

Project type:

Project title:
Skiftandi seksualfatanir – Ein diskursanalysa

Grant number:

Project manager:
Lisa í Garði Patursson

University of Surrey

Other participants:
Elena Manafi

Project period:

Total budget:

Grant from the FRC in DKK:

Project description:
During the past decades, shifting views about the conceptualisation of sexuality, has caused a great deal of debate and upheaval in Western society. In the Faroe Islands, this debate is comparatively new and underdeveloped, arguably due to the taboo that has historically existed around the topic. Hence, literature and research on sexuality in the Faroe Islands, finds itself in a state of infancy, arguably in need of impetus. Popular opinion in most Western societies today, including the Faroe Islands (this being a more recent development), understands sexuality from an essentialist standpoint. This perspective argues, that individuals are born with a particular sexual orientation, classifiable into specific sexual identities (e.g. homosexuality, heterosexuality and bisexuality). This way of understanding sexuality, has firmly positioned sexual orientation as a stable and integral part of the individual. However, for the mental health profession and wider society to become better able to understand and cater to those, who experience sexuality as outside the traditional binary realm, it is important to recognise and examine alternative ways of conceptualise sexuality.


The current study aimed to look at the ways in which sexual fluidity is discursively constructed within Western society, particularly by considering the implications of certain discourses on individuals’ ‘way-of-being’. This was explored by looking at the positions taken up by subjects, the type of subject this produced and the implications of this on subjects’ thoughts and actions (subjectivity). The study was approached from a social constructionist epistemological stance, to facilitate an exploration of the constructed nature of sexuality, particularly sexual fluidity, within the analysed text and on a broader institutional level. This, in order to consider and examine the sociocultural impact on subjectivity. Although Counselling Psychology acknowledges fluidity within sexuality, the profession has had limited involvement in the research in this area. Semi-structured interviews were analysed using Foucauldian Discourse Analysis (FDA), focusing specifically on problematisation, subject positioning and subjectification. Three dominant discourses were identified: A normative discourse, an individualism discourse and an ‘LGBT’ discourse. These were explicated by situating them within current social, cultural and institutional contexts and discourses. The study highlighted sexual fluidity as constructed through discourses which emphasise the ‘normal’ subject, the ‘true self’ and the ‘self-regulating’ subject.

Project status:

Project output:
Ph.d.-ritgerðin varð vard 18. februar 2019.

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