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SOC 104
Graeme Metcalf

March 21, 2012-Sexuality Introduction to Queer Theory Teresa de Lauretis A critical theorist: credited with coining the phrase “the queer theory” 1991: edited a special issue of the feminist cultural studies journal differences entitled “Queer Theory: lesbian and gay sexualities.” Use of the term queer theory A refusal to heterosexuality as the benchmark for all sexual formations An attentiveness to gender capable of interrogating the frequent assumption that lesbian and gay studies is a single, homogenous group And an insistence on the multiple ways in which race crucially shapes sexual subjective Not a “theory” per se Queer theory’s refusal to specify itself has been widely recognized as one of its tactical strengths *unlike Marxism, it recognizes there are multiple sources of inequality (advertising, workplace, ect.) Queer theory might be thought of less as a thing than and more as a definitional field or network, “a zone of possibilities in which the embodiment of the subject might be experienced otherwise.” *reading against the grain of the dominant message. Queer theory allows subject to read into own personal fantasies Queer Methodology Dichotomous thinking infuses numerous research methodologies, limiting what is allowed to exist Thus, queer methodologies are vital for exposing hegemonic linear ways of being and thinking that analyze, categories and psychiatrize (to make it ill, sick, diseased) those outside of such polarized identities. *e.g. show Will and Grace (Will who acts straight has no love life, Jack who acts gay is more promiscuous) Ontology and Epistemology Ontology: the study of:  Being existence and reality (basic categories of each)  How categories are constructed and subdivided according to similarity and difference Epistemology: the study of knowledge, and what it is and how it’s acquired *rejection rather than acceptance is taught through knowledge (no one born a bigot, we are taught to be bigots) Kevin Kumashiro (1999) Queer methodologies provide space for multiplicity of strangeness to exist as their disruption or normalcy and Otherness is explicitly political Queer methodologies deconstruct truth claims, question dualistic ontology and queer straight lines (*straight social world needs to be broken down) Queer Acts Sex, gender and sexuality are relational and queer positions itself against normative spaces and made visibly by dominant discourses As a “verb” “t
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