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Queer Theory (QT) is both theory and political action. Definition is impossible, but QT can be summarised as exploring the oppressive power of dominant norms, particularly those relating to sexuality, and the immiseration they cause to those who cannot, or do not wish to, live according to those norms. In analysing the power of ‘the normal’, QT contributes to a politics and ethics of difference. It challenges dominant norms, especially those of sexuality.
What does this mean for my research topic?
Queer theory is easily relatable to the shared experiences of all communities, navigating a world where identity is often seen in binary distinctions—straight/gay, man/women, white/person of color, educated/uneducated—that make alternate spaces uncomfortable or invisible. - Working with Writers: UIC Writing Center Handbook Vainis Aleksa, Kim O'Neil, Rita Sacay, & Charitianne Williams
This means you could write about a variety of experiences that has meaning or importance to you. Topics could include:
Civil rights issues, marches or movements
Exploring cultural norms or attitudes of a specific generation
Understanding issues privilege and marginalized groups
Discrimination in the workplace, school or other environments
Norms are standards that are used as the basis for judgements about the adequacy of resources. The term ‘normative’ is consequently used to refer to both the imposition of expert judgements about standards and the use of moral judgements.
“Binary” means “two”; a binary opposition is any pair of opposites. We learn concrete opposites early in childhood: black/white, up/ down, right/left, on/off, yes/no. This idea that the world is structured in terms of opposites then becomes the base on which we build more sophisticated concepts, as we come to think about good/evil, right/ wrong, male/female, and so on. The binary opposition becomes the basic “unit” of our thought, both as individuals and as a culture.
Gender identity is commonly defined as an individual’s sense of being a male or a female. For many, gender identities are aligned with physical sex characteristics including hormones, chromosomes, genitalia, and secondary sex characteristics, as well as with sex assignment and gender roles. For others, gender identities do not match one or more sex or gender traits. Several variations on this concept of gender identity exist
All definitions taken from Credo Reference
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LGBT Life with Full Text contains an index and full text covering the most important and historically significant LGBT journals, magazines and regional newspapers, as well as dozens of books.
This text explores the emergence of new ways of explaining the positioning of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered peoples. It does so in the context of broader debates around culture, experience and discourse. The emergence of Queer Theory represents a large leap in our understanding of lesbian and gay peoples. It embodies a context for treating these people as worthy of consideration in their own rights and not as an appendage to general cultural theory. Max Kirsch argues that the current development of this area is in danger of repeating past mistakes in the construction of analyses, and ultimately, social movements. In this way, the book presents an alternative to the current fascination with the abstract categories of identity, culture and difference, and emphasizes the need for a discussion of the importance of communities and role of globalization on queer movements.
Call Number: eBook (Available to people from CARLI member institutions.)
Publication Date: 1998-08-01
Theoretical studies in curriculum have begun to move into cultural studies--one vibrant and increasingly visible sector of which is queer theory. Queer Theory in Education brings together the most prominent and promising scholars in the field of education--primarily but not exclusively in curriculum--in the first volume on queer theory in education. In his perceptive introduction, the editor outlines queer theory as it is emerging in the field of education, its significance for all scholars and teachers, and its relation to queer theory in literacy theory and more generally, in the humanities.
The political and academic appropriation of the term queer over the last several years has marked a shift in the study of sexuality from a focus on supposedly essential categories as gay and lesbian to more fluid or queer notions of sexual identity. Yet queer is a category still in the process of formation. In Queer Theory, Annamarie Jagose provides a clear and concise explanation of queer theory, tracing it as part of an intriguing history of same-sex love over the last century. Blending insights from prominent theorists such as Judith Butler and David Halperin, Jagose argues that queer theory's challenge is to create new ways of thinking, not only about fixed sexual identities such as heterosexual and homosexual, but also about other supposedly essential notions such as sexuality and gender and even man and woman.
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