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How Places Make UsNovel LBQ Identities in Four Small Cities$
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Japonica Brown-Saracino

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226361116

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226361390.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

How Places Make Us

How Places Make Us

(p.197) Five How Places Make Us
How Places Make Us

Japonica Brown-Saracino

University of Chicago Press

This chapter offers an extended comparison across all four cities in order to elucidate the larger patterns at work in the creation of identity cultures. It maps how LBQ identity cultures respond to three dimensions of city ecology. The first is “abundance and acceptance,” which refers to the amount of LBQ residents who live in an area relative to the total population, and how they are dispersed across the metro area; these population numbers, in turn, are inextricably linked to their sense of safety, as well as the city’s indicators of acceptance. The second is “place narratives,” which refers to the stories a city tells about who it is—via billboards, Chamber of Commerce fliers, newspaper articles, and everyday conversation. The third, which partially emerges from and reproduces the others, is the city’s “socioscape.” That is, the ways that residents experience the community around them, and especially the LBQ population. Almost as important as each of these three dimensions individually is the fact that they work in tandem, and that the relative importance of each varies by city and over time. The chapter calls scholars to seriously consider the influence of even subtle differences in city ecology on self and group.

Keywords:   place, ecology, city, identity, culture, community, gay, queer, lesbian, politics

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