When visibility becomes political: visibility and stigmatisation of young people
This article analyses the processes of politicisation of some identities, religious affiliations and individual choices within the context of a right-wing backlash to increased recognition of the value and legitimacy of diversity in Europe. The rise of right-wing politics and increasing visibility of anti-immigrant and anti-LGBT movements have demonstrated the strong presence of traditional and patriarchal values and subjected some identities, religious affiliations or individual choices to processes of politicisation. One consequence of the problematisation and politicisation of such personal matters as gender, sexuality and religion is the further stigmatisation and marginalisation of already vulnerable groups. In this article, we consider the experience of young feminists, women of the Muslim community and LGBTIQ activists drawing on a meta-ethnographic synthesis of five cases of young people's activism from Portugal, Germany, Croatia and Russia. Analysis focuses on the question of visibility among these groups of stigmatised young people. We show that while, for some, visibility is a matter of necessity for political engagement, for others, it can entrench stigmatisation and discrimination. We also consider the role of families and communities of belonging, which, in some cases, encouraged but, in other cases, responded negatively towards the young people's engagement.