Generative Ritual Among Nonmetropolitan Lesbians and Gay Men: Promoting Social Inclusion


  • This article edited by Ralph LaRossa.

Department of Human and Community Development, 263 Bevier Hall, 905 South Goodwin, Urbana, IL 61801 (


Generativity is typically studied as a normative adult inclination expressed through social roles (D.P. McAdams & E. de St. Aubin, 1992). We extend this research by examining generativity through the lenses of social marginality and ritual. Toward this end, we utilize in-depth interview and observational data about family rituals from 49 downstate Illinois residents who participated in a larger survey of nonmetropolitan lesbian and gay life. We first examine their ritual intentions and the locations where they are enacted. Then we identify what makes the rituals generative and identify their facilitating and moderating conditions. The findings suggest a distinction between normative and queer generativity. Our final product is a substantive grounded theory of generativity among sexual minorities that extends current theory.