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Holy Homophobia Dissertation_abstract

Holy Homophobia Dissertation_abstract

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Published by Daily Xtra
Holy Homophobia: Doctrinal Disciplining of Non-Heterosexuals in Canadian Catholic Schools
By Dr. Tonya D. Callaghan
Holy Homophobia: Doctrinal Disciplining of Non-Heterosexuals in Canadian Catholic Schools
By Dr. Tonya D. Callaghan

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Categories:Types, Research, Law
Published by: Daily Xtra on Jun 05, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Doctor of Philosophy 2011
Tonya Callaghan
Graduate Department of Curriculum, Teaching & Learning
University of Toronto
In 2011 clashes between Catholic canonical law and Canadian common law regardingsexual minorities continue to be played out in Canadian Catholic schools. While Section15 of the
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
ensures same-sex equality inCanada, this study shows that some teachers in Alberta Catholic schools are fired forcontravening Catholic doctrine about non-
heterosexuality, while Ontario students’
requests to establish Gay/Straight Alliances are denied. This study seeks to uncover thecauses and effects of the long-standing disconnect between Canadian Catholic schoolsand the
by comparing the treatment of and attitudes towards lesbian, gay,bisexual, transgender and queer (lgbtq) teachers and students in publicly-funded Catholicschool systems in the provinces of Alberta and Ontario. I employ a multi-methodqualitative research framework involving: 1) semi-structured interviews with 20participants (7 current and former teachers and 13 former students), 18 of which are re-presented as
condensed narratives; 2) media accounts that illustrate the Catholic schools’
homophobic environment; and 3) two key Alberta and Ontario Catholic policy andcurriculum documents. The central question driving this study is: How does poweroperate in Canadian Catholic schools? Is it exercised from the top down solely, or arethere instances of power rising up from the bottom as well? To answer this question, Idraw upon the critical theories of Gramsci (1971), Althusser (1970/2008), Foucault(1975/1995), and
Giroux (2001) in order to explain the phenomenon of “holyhomophobia” in Canadian Catholic schools. The chief finding of this study is that
contradictory Catholic doctrine on the topic of non-heterosexuality is directing schoolpolicy and practice regarding the management of sexual minority groups in Alberta andOntario Catholic schools, positioning these schools as potential hotbeds for homophobia.

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