CUSP, Research in the School, Social Psychology

Sexual citizenship: a critical social psychological issue


A new article extends the social psychological study of citizenship to consider the issue of sexual citizenship, and its boundaries. The article presents research from Cyprus that adopted a critical approach to analyse discourses of citizenship in Greek Cypriot newspapers. The article is co-authored by Dr Eleni Andreouli, the Director of Research in the School. Dr Andreouli co-chaired the production of DD317 Advancing Social Psychology, in a Level 3 module which the social psychology of citizenship is a key topic.

Dilemmas of sexual citizenship: A critical social psychological analysis of Civil Union law representations in Greek Cypriot newspapers

Irini Kadianaki, Maria Avraamidou, Eleni Andreouli

Feminism & PsychologyVolume 30 Issue 2, May 2020 pp. 165–184


In this article we bring a critical social-psychological approach to the study of sexual citizenship. This approach seeks to understand how citizenship is constructed through ideological resources and negotiated in local contexts. We do so by studying newspaper representations of the Civil Union (CU) law in the Cypriot context. This law represented a major legal development for a largely heteronormative, patriarchic social context and sparked debate around sexual rights in general. We analysed 82 opinion articles that appeared in four newspapers of different political orientations between 2011 and 2015, through thematic and critical discourse analysis. The analysis revealed that CU was debated in terms of two oppositional themes. The first theme debated whether CU protects universal rights or introduces special rights, which are either not deserved or create inequality. The second theme approached the CU law as a sign of a much-needed societal progress or as a sign of decline and national degeneration. We show how these themes draw upon two broader ideological dilemmas, that of universalism versus particularism and that of Occidentalism versus Orientalism, and discuss the implications of these ideological streams in constructing the boundaries of citizenship for LGBT+ in this context.

You can read about Eleni Andreouli’s research here





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