Homosexuality and the African: Change and Persistence of Homophobic Attitudes among African Migrants in Switzerland

Homosexuality is strongly criminalized and socially stigmatized in more than two-thirds of African countries whereas in most European countries, homosexuality is legal and anti-discriminatory laws exist to protect this minority group. Empirical research on homophobia among Africans has predominantly focused on how the cultural and political context in African countries influence how home populations – ‘Africans living in Africa’ – perceive homosexuality. So far, very little empirical research has focused on analysing how attitudes among Africans are influenced when they move from a restrictive political and cultural context to a relatively ‘open’ political and socio-cultural setting where homosexuality is legally accepted and socially celebrated during gay pride festivals. This study contributes in filling this research gap by examining the attitudes of African migrants, specifically Cameroonian migrants, in Switzerland towards homosexuality.

Supervisor:Max Bergman

Co-Supervisor: to be determined


Frida Lyonga joined the Graduate School of Social Sciences as a PhD fellow in September 2013. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Buea, Cameroon, and holds Masters degrees in Media and Communication Studies, and in Cinema Studies from Stockholm University.

Frida Lyonga
Graduate School of Social Sciences
Petersgraben 52
4051 Basel