A Gay Culture: Contrastive Analyses of Homosexual Culture in Ireland and the Netherlands
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This thesis explores similarities and differences between homosexual culture in Ireland and the Netherlands through the analysis of different aspects of homosexual culture, such as definitions of homosexual culture, different viewpoints on homosexual culture by laymen and experts and the influence of stereotypes and communication about homosexual culture on the actual manifestation of this culture. Analyses of these different aspects of homosexual culture were based on a broad theoretical framework, three in-depth interviews with experts on homosexuality and survey answers of 47 Irish people and 82 Dutch people. Comparisons and analyses of these results led to the formulation of the answer to the research question "In what ways does homosexual culture manifest itself next to or as part of the national culture in the Netherlands and Ireland, respectively, and does this culture exist at national, Western or international level?". The same kind of factors and processes, such as national culture, politics and religion, play a part in shaping homosexual culture in Ireland and the Netherlands. Because of these influences, homosexual culture is expressed differently from country to country. There are, however, similarities in goals, activities and identities of homosexuals in both countries. Moreover, homosexual culture in Ireland and the Netherlands is a culture like any other with a clear inside and outside group, in which the inside group feels connected because of their shared homosexual orientation. Their cultural identity is influenced more clearly by homosexual culture in certain situations and places, such as gay bars or a Gay Parade, but there are also various subcultures at play within homosexual culture. The most prominent ones are based on gender differences, so homosexual men and homosexual women. Communication and stereotypes about homosexual and their culture affect the way people look at homosexual culture in both countries. Homosexuals are more inclined to change their view because they are a part of the group and can see the diversity from the inside, while the outside group often does not recognise the diversity, which increases the differences between these groups. Still, this does not mean that there is a single homosexual culture at a Western or international level, but that these notions or factors are represented differently in homosexual cultures per country. In conclusion, homosexual culture mainly exists at a national level, sometimes as part of and sometimes next to national culture, but it is some sort of hybrid culture that is the outcome of the influence of national culture and tendencies on internationally similar processes, factors and notions.