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The Story of Sexual IdentityNarrative Perspectives on the Gay and Lesbian Life Course$
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Phillip L. Hammack and Bertram J. Cohler

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195326789

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195326789.001.0001

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Generativity and Time in Gay Men's Life Stories

Generativity and Time in Gay Men's Life Stories

(p.397) 17 Generativity and Time in Gay Men's Life Stories
The Story of Sexual Identity

Andrew J. Hostetler

Oxford University Press

Drawing on life-story interviews with forty-two gay men representing roughly four different historical cohorts, this chapter explores the meaning and experience of gay generativity through intersecting narratives of personal-developmental and collective-historical time. These narratives reveal both cohort-specific shifts in gay men's time orientation and a more continuous pattern of historical change, with corresponding transformations in opportunities for making a generative contribution. The narratives also suggest a more dynamic intertwining of developmental and historical processes in the construction of the generative self. It is argued that that the men are engaged in an intergenerational “multilogue”—with members of the research team and, by proxy, with each other—that is rewriting the individual experience and collective meaning of generativity. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the future prospects for building a generative society and the potential contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people to such a project.

Keywords:   gay men, homosexuality, gay generativity, narratives, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, time orientation

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