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Gay men's identity attempt pathway and its implication on consumption



This paper integrates sociological and psychological perspectives to examine gay consumption practices in relation to the dynamics of gay identity development. Specifically, this paper investigates how internal motivational factors underlying gay identity formation and external social influence work in concert to affect gay identity attempts throughout the gay identity development process. The findings of this study reveal that the consumption patterns of gay men are continuously evolving and correspond to attempts at discovering, disclosing, constructing, maintaining, (re)constructing, suppressing, and/or disposing the gay social identity. Precipitated by individual differences, two divergent pathways—the linear progression and pendular progression pathways—of identity attempts emerged from the gay identity development process. The data used in this study were collected through in-depth interviews with gay men in Taiwan, where homosexuality is traditionally stigmatized but is gradually gaining acceptance with the global emergence and spread of the gay subculture. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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