Faculty Research Support Fund awarded to Sebastian Bartos
Project title: How Did the World Get Less Homophobic? Towards a Data-Driven Theory of Social Change
The long term aim of my project is to develop a new theory of social change. In order to achieve that, I plan to study how attitudes towards lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) people have changed over recent decades. This is social change that has happened within our lifetimes, but which we do not fully understand.
I will conduct interviews asking people about how their attitudes towards LGB people have evolved, and what factors might have been at play. I will also explore the value of a ‘memory work’ method, in which groups of people discuss their memories on a given topic. I expect both of these approaches to provide new hypotheses on how attitudes towards LGB people have shifted.
I will use the Faculty Research Support Fund to conduct as small pilot study focused on elderly people in the UK in order to establish the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed methods.