'If your face doesn't fit...': the misrecognition of working-class lesbians in scene space

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55 Citations (Scopus)


This article makes use of the concept of 'misrecognition' to convey the ways that working-class lesbians are rendered unentitled to occupy commercialized scene space, focussing mainly on the UK cities of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Manchester. The article is based upon an ESRC funded study of working-class lesbians, which examines the significance of class and sexuality in the lives of women who self-identify themselves as working-class and lesbian. Here, the author points to the need to more thoroughly 'class' scene space and suggests that consideration of the experiences of working-class lesbians furthers this agenda. Devaluations occur through 'failure' to display, via appearance, the 'correct', 'gay' signifiers and so the use of these leisure spaces is rarely experienced as pleasurable reclamations or as equal mixing of identities, appearances, bodies, and lifestyles. However, the women interviewed were far from passive in these processes and in charting their responses the author highlights their significant critiques of scene space(s) as 'middle-class', 'pretentious' and 'male'. Such sentiments ultimately affected a sense that it was not really 'their' space - even if, fraught and fragmentary, entitlement claims were still made upon it.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-178
Number of pages18
JournalLeisure Studies
Issue number2
Early online date26 Feb 2007
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2007


  • class
  • homosexuality
  • women's status
  • lesbian


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