Beyond the "Deficient Body" -a Middle-Aged Lesbian's Life Story-

'불완전한 몸'의 질곡을 넘어 -50대 레즈비언의 생애이야기-

  • Received : 2011.12.06
  • Accepted : 2012.01.13
  • Published : 2012.05.31


This qualitative study explored a middle-aged lesbian's life and her identities by the oral life history approach in feminist epistemology, where the participant is not the object but the subject of knowledge. The participant kept her own perspective that her homosexuality was not intrinsic but constructed. In her life's history, she was a "docile body" accepting socially constructed historical meaning of homosexuality, as well as a "resistant body" protesting against social discrimination and oppression for homosexual population. She overcame an embedded negative recognition of her scaled injured body and her sexuality as "deficient". Finally, she showed an amazing resilience and an indomitable spirit for reconstructing the meaning of her body as "blessed." Beyond the deficient body, as an active agent not the pathologic sexual minority, she could cultivate compassion and empathy for others. From the results, it is important how to place gender and sexuality in the context of social work theory and practice. Sexuality, not sexual orientation, is 'our' collective agenda to address the social problems which were associated with social hierarchy, inequality, and injustice.