This study looks at the purpose and symbolic co-construction of safe spaces, specifically LGBTQ+ areas. It is important to address such spaces’ physical, temporal, and other attributes through their users’ eyes because these spaces host sensitive exchanges that impact emotions, time, and negotiations of identity for their users. Symbolic convergence theory is applied to frame and make sense of what is happening in one such space under observation, exposing important narratives that are shared among those who take advantage of the safety of the space. Users’ experiences reflect consistent narrative attention paid to who is invited and welcomed into the space, how to stay safe there, and the transformative impact that safe space setting can impart on actors. Understanding those stories through an emergent theme of “comfort” helps clarify some of what helps co-create successful spaces like these.
Author Supplied Keywords
Safe Spaces, LGBTQ, Symbolic Convergence Theory, Community, Construction
Communication theory; Homosexuality
Citation: Pilot Scholars Version (Modified MLA Style)
Simon, Andrew, "Safe Spaces: Their Construction and Their Purpose" (2017). Communication Studies Graduate Publications and Presentations. 11.