When the obligation to be neutral becomes the right to discriminate: discursive struggles over LGBT+ rights at Polish universities

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Trabalhos de Linguística Aplicada
Title alternative
In this article, we discuss the narratives of struggle, resistance, and counter-resistance over the rights of the LGBT+ community at several Polish universities, which remain unnamed in order to protect our informants. In particular, we look at the discourses of LGBT+ groups struggling to establish or maintain organizations of various forms (from students’ study circles to union-like institutions) within the context of internal university structure, Polish academic culture and current political developments in the country. This research draws on semi-structured in-depth interviews we conducted in the spring and summer of 2020. In our analyses of the interview material, we apply a multidisciplinary methodological framework combining CDA and narrative inquiry in order to examine linguistic phenomena participating in constructing a particular version of reality through text in talk. Such research design enables us to offer a case study of the difficulties and obstacles faced by LGBT+ activists in the Polish academia the way they understand them, and of the resistance strategies they employ in this particular context. Our research shows a wide range of resistance strategies employed by the LGBT+ community members that can be classified according to the scale of discriminatory practices they form a response to (systemic/individual discrimination) and the type of the response itself (group/individual response). On the basis of the discussed examples, our article offers an interagentive matrix of strategies of addressing LGBT+ issues emerging within the Polish academic context.
Polish universities, LGBT+ community, resistance strategies, Critical Discourse nalysis, narrative inquiry, heteronormativity
Trabalhos de Linguística Aplicada, 2020, vol.59 no.3.
Alternative location