Workplace discrimination against white collar lesbians and gays and their coping strategies : a case study from Ankara, Turkey

Öner, Aysun
This thesis explores workplace sexual orientation discrimination in Turkey. The discrimination and harassment experiences of white collar lesbian and gay individuals at the work place, the results of these negative experiences and how they cope with these are discussed in this thesis. In this thesis, I analyze the existing theoretical literature of sexual orientation discrimination and evaluate their relevance in a developing country, such as Turkey, where traditional and cultural beliefs and norms are still prevalent. The presence of sexual orientation discrimination put forth through interviews held with white collar lesbians and gays. Gays and lesbians, who experience discrimination at different levels and in different work environments, try to vitiate the effect of this treatment by using various strategies, such as hiding their sexual orientation by fabricating a lover or appearing to be asexual, quitting, ghettoization. On the contrary, they may choose to protect their self-integrity and reveal their sexual orientation, thereby becoming implicitly or explicitly out. Work place safety, self-integration and the degree of being in compliance with gender norms are the key determinants in the decisions of lesbians and gays regarding the strategies and there is fluidity between all strategies.


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The major purpose of this study was to examine perceptions of workplace sexual harassment in the Turkish context. In Study 1, 53 working women were interviewed to identify culture-relevant behaviors that are considered to be sexual harassment. In Study 2, the factor structure of perceptions was explored. In addition, the way in which these perceptions are related to personal variables (i.e. gender role attitudes, self-esteem, and negative affectivity) was investigated. Participants were 353 women currently ...
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Citation Formats
A. Öner, “ Workplace discrimination against white collar lesbians and gays and their coping strategies : a case study from Ankara, Turkey,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2013.