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The global politics of sexual dissidence: Migration and diaspora

By Jon Binnie and Tracy A. Simmons


This is the authors' final draft of the book chapter published as Binnie, J. & Simmons, T., The global politics of sexual dissidence: Migration and diaspora. In: Kofman, E. & Youngs, G. (eds.), Globalization: theory and practice (Continuum international publishing©2008), pp.159-176.The impact of feminist interventions within political geography and IR has created the space to examine the global politics of sexual dissidence. This chapter sets out to theorise the global politics of sexual dissidence as a supplement but also challenge to feminist perspectives on global politics that have sometimes tended to reproduce a heteronormative perspective in overlooking same sex sexualities and transgender politics. Sexual dissident sexualities have generally been neglected in theories of globalization (though, for an exception see Scholte, 2000). However, recent years have witnessed a dramatic growth of work examining the global and transnational politics at the intersection of law, geography, cultural studies, postcolonial studies and lesbian and gay/queer studies. This body of work has much to contribute to understandings of globalization more generally. \ud \ud Queer politics and theory have both sought to challenge the stability of categories such as gay and lesbian – and sought to provide a deconstructive analysis and examine the exclusions associated with mainstream gay identity politics. The focus within queer politics was on alliances across boundaries of sexual and other categories. However in his discussion of queer Bell (1994) suggested that queer politics has reproduced exclusions rather than eliminated them. Other writers have been critical of queer theory’s marginalisation of transgender politics (Namaste, 1996). Moreover Eng et al (2005: 12) argue that: ‘much of queer theory nowadays sounds like a metanarrative about the domestic affairs of white homosexuals’. See also Puar’s (2006: 86) acknowledgement of the limitations of labels and terms to denote sexual dissident identities and practices as she ‘note [s] the inadequacy of these terms, because they are overdetermined and vague, too specific yet too broad’. It is this very inadequacy and unsustainability of terms and labels to categorise identities and practices that has been a significant issue for activists engaged in and research on global sexual politics. \ud \ud This chapter does not offer an exhaustive overview of material on the globalization of sexual dissidence which we use as an umbrella term to cover non-normative sexual practices and identities. However it seeks to provide a discussion of how the politics of sexual dissidence have been approached within theories of globalization and how insights from research on non-normative sexualities can inform both understandings of transnational political practices and theories of globalization. The first half of the chapter concerns more general debates concerning same sex and transgender sexualities in relation to both theories and practices of globalization. The second half focuses on questions of migration and diaspora. The conclusion offers some ideas and suggestions for future research.\ud [from the introduction

Publisher: Continuum International Publishing
Year: 2006
OAI identifier:

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