Epistemic Injustice: Towards Uncovering Knowledge of Bisexual Realities in Social Work Research
AbstractLesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) individuals experience health risks, with bisexuals experiencing higher levels of health risk compared to heterosexuals, gays and lesbians. These disparities are often attributed to stressors related to minority status. While similarities among LGBTQ experiences exist, it is plausible that bisexuals experience unique forms of marginalization, which may help explain the documented health disparities. Bostwick and Hequembourg highlight unique forms of marginalization that bisexuals experience vis-a`-vis microagressions, falling within the realm of the epistemic. Fricker’s work on epistemic injustice emphasizes marginalization particularly as it is related to knowledge and experience. Drawing on this scholarship, this paper provides a review of existing literature on the bisexual experience, and a discussion to provide a critical lens on bisexual marginalization in society and the minimal attention received in social work research. Approaches to increase bisexual visibility and attention in social work research will be discussed. Some approaches include: developing a queer theoretical perspective in practice and research to allow for greater problematization of social categories; and making a concerted effort to promote research that is inclusive of minority populations within the sexual and gender minority population group. This might include groups with intersecting points of marginalization, such as racialized and gender diverse individuals.
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