Representing the history of LGBT rights: political rhetoric surrounding the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act 1967

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)
17 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

To mark the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act 1967, which partially discriminalised sex between men in England and Wales, all five living British prime ministers (Theresa May, David Cameron, Gordon Brown, Tony Blair and Sir John Major) wrote exclusively for the LGBT news website PinkNews. Drawing eclectically on recent work on social representations of history and a rhetorical psychological approach to commemorative discourse, this article examines how these prime ministers represented the history of LGBT rights and how such representations were used rhetorically. The prime ministers figuratively represented the Act as the start of a long road to LGBT equality. In doing so, the historical event was anchored in a contemporary political agenda for LGBT equality. However, despite this being an outward display of unified celebration, these prime ministers indirectly engaged in the business of party politics by selectively praising the achievements of their own parties and omitting how LGBT rights have been advanced by their opponents. Theresa May in particular managed the Conservative Party’s brand. It is argued that representations of the past provide a selective and partial view of the history of LGBT rights in the UK but that we should go beyond examining the content of representations to examine how they are put to political ends.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-317
Number of pages12
JournalPsychology and Sexuality
Volume8
Issue number4
Early online date27 Sep 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Fingerprint

sexual offense
political right
Anniversaries and Special Events
anniversary
minister
rhetoric
History
act
history
equality
Wales
Politics
England
party politics
political agenda
Psychology
website
news
event
discourse

Bibliographical note

“This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Psychology and Sexuality on 27 September 2017, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19419899.2017.1383303

Keywords

  • Gay rights
  • Political discourse
  • epideictic rhetoric
  • Commemoration
  • social representations

Cite this

@article{cc9402378e2b427f836be6344a6cd41f,
title = "Representing the history of LGBT rights: political rhetoric surrounding the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act 1967",
abstract = "To mark the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act 1967, which partially discriminalised sex between men in England and Wales, all five living British prime ministers (Theresa May, David Cameron, Gordon Brown, Tony Blair and Sir John Major) wrote exclusively for the LGBT news website PinkNews. Drawing eclectically on recent work on social representations of history and a rhetorical psychological approach to commemorative discourse, this article examines how these prime ministers represented the history of LGBT rights and how such representations were used rhetorically. The prime ministers figuratively represented the Act as the start of a long road to LGBT equality. In doing so, the historical event was anchored in a contemporary political agenda for LGBT equality. However, despite this being an outward display of unified celebration, these prime ministers indirectly engaged in the business of party politics by selectively praising the achievements of their own parties and omitting how LGBT rights have been advanced by their opponents. Theresa May in particular managed the Conservative Party’s brand. It is argued that representations of the past provide a selective and partial view of the history of LGBT rights in the UK but that we should go beyond examining the content of representations to examine how they are put to political ends.",
keywords = "Gay rights, Political discourse, epideictic rhetoric, Commemoration, social representations",
author = "Adam Jowett",
note = "“This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Psychology and Sexuality on 27 September 2017, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19419899.2017.1383303",
year = "2017",
doi = "10.1080/19419899.2017.1383303",
language = "English",
volume = "8",
pages = "306--317",
journal = "Psychology and Sexuality",
issn = "1941-9899",
publisher = "Taylor & Francis",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Representing the history of LGBT rights: political rhetoric surrounding the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act 1967

AU - Jowett, Adam

N1 - “This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Psychology and Sexuality on 27 September 2017, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19419899.2017.1383303

PY - 2017

Y1 - 2017

N2 - To mark the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act 1967, which partially discriminalised sex between men in England and Wales, all five living British prime ministers (Theresa May, David Cameron, Gordon Brown, Tony Blair and Sir John Major) wrote exclusively for the LGBT news website PinkNews. Drawing eclectically on recent work on social representations of history and a rhetorical psychological approach to commemorative discourse, this article examines how these prime ministers represented the history of LGBT rights and how such representations were used rhetorically. The prime ministers figuratively represented the Act as the start of a long road to LGBT equality. In doing so, the historical event was anchored in a contemporary political agenda for LGBT equality. However, despite this being an outward display of unified celebration, these prime ministers indirectly engaged in the business of party politics by selectively praising the achievements of their own parties and omitting how LGBT rights have been advanced by their opponents. Theresa May in particular managed the Conservative Party’s brand. It is argued that representations of the past provide a selective and partial view of the history of LGBT rights in the UK but that we should go beyond examining the content of representations to examine how they are put to political ends.

AB - To mark the 50th anniversary of the Sexual Offences Act 1967, which partially discriminalised sex between men in England and Wales, all five living British prime ministers (Theresa May, David Cameron, Gordon Brown, Tony Blair and Sir John Major) wrote exclusively for the LGBT news website PinkNews. Drawing eclectically on recent work on social representations of history and a rhetorical psychological approach to commemorative discourse, this article examines how these prime ministers represented the history of LGBT rights and how such representations were used rhetorically. The prime ministers figuratively represented the Act as the start of a long road to LGBT equality. In doing so, the historical event was anchored in a contemporary political agenda for LGBT equality. However, despite this being an outward display of unified celebration, these prime ministers indirectly engaged in the business of party politics by selectively praising the achievements of their own parties and omitting how LGBT rights have been advanced by their opponents. Theresa May in particular managed the Conservative Party’s brand. It is argued that representations of the past provide a selective and partial view of the history of LGBT rights in the UK but that we should go beyond examining the content of representations to examine how they are put to political ends.

KW - Gay rights

KW - Political discourse

KW - epideictic rhetoric

KW - Commemoration

KW - social representations

U2 - 10.1080/19419899.2017.1383303

DO - 10.1080/19419899.2017.1383303

M3 - Article

VL - 8

SP - 306

EP - 317

JO - Psychology and Sexuality

JF - Psychology and Sexuality

SN - 1941-9899

IS - 4

ER -