Decompensation: A Novel Approach to Accounting for Stress Arising From the Effects of Ideology and Social Norms

Damien Riggs, Gareth Treharne

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    To date, research that has drawn on Meyer’s (2003) minority stress model has largely taken for granted the premises underpinning it. In this article we provide a close reading of how “stress” is conceptualized in the model and suggest that aspects of the model do not attend to the institutionalized nature of stressors experienced by people with marginalized identities, particularly lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals. As a counter to this, we highlight the importance of a focus on the effects of ideology and social norms in terms of stress, and we argue why an intersectional approach is necessary to ensure recognition of multiple axes of marginalization and privilege. The article then outlines the concept of decompensation and suggests that it may offer one way to reconsider the effects of ideology and social norms. The decompensation approach centers on the need for social change rather than solely relying on individuals to be resilient.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)592-605
    Number of pages14
    JournalJOURNAL OF HOMOSEXUALITY
    Volume64
    Issue number5
    Early online date2016
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2017

    Keywords

    • Bisexual
    • decompensation
    • gay
    • ideology
    • intersectionality
    • lesbian
    • marginalization
    • social norms
    • stress
    • transgender

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