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National Security as Moral Regulation.docx

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Joe Hermer

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National Security as Moral Regulation: Making the Normal and the Deviant in the Security Campaigns against Gay Men and Lesbians  Moral Regulations - In the 1950s and 1960s in cold war Canada moral regulation can be seen as the social institutions discourses and practices making the normal and the moral; normalizing and naturalizing only certain ways of living o A crucial part of the national security campaign was the making of heterosexuality as the moral national safe and normal sexuality why gay and lesbian sexualities were made into the immoral risky and deviant sexualities that were thrown outside the fabric of the nation. o The marking of queer sexualities as suspect and risky has a legacy in our historical present continuing to shape social practices of discrimination against lesbians gay men bisexuals and trangendered people who do not fit into the dominant two gender system o Challenge heterosexual hegemony – the social practices discourses, ideologies constructing heterosexuality as the only natural and normal sexuality  During the 1950s and 1960s thousands of homosexuals lost their jobs in the public service and the military as the RCMP collected the names of 9000 lesbians and gay men by the Ottawa area o Homosexuals were portrayed in this Cold War national security discourse as suffering from a character weakness or moral failing that would make us vulnerable to blackmail and compromise by foreign agents and therefore into security risks  To this day closeted homosexuals can be denied security clearances with the argument that they have something to hide and therefore are vulnerable to blackmail and are a security risk The Moralization and Normalization of Sexuality  Mary Douglas - shows how social and moral notions of purity pollution and taboo have often been built on the social relations of physiological reproduction and erotic practices. o Ideas about separating, purifying demarcating and punishing transgressions have as their main function to impose system on an inherently untidy experience.  Douglas argues that nothing is more essentially transmitted by a social process of learning than sexual behavior and this of course is closely related to morality o Reproductive and sexual norms and taboos produce a natural order around which life comes to be organized. This natural order depends on boundaries separating the normal from the ambiguous  Moral regulation broad range of social discourses institutions ideologies and practices. Ideologies are the ruling ideas in a society than are usually just taken for granted as common sense. o Moral regulation covers a much broader terrain than that of the sexual including non sexual practices such as alcohol drug use gambling and crime. Eroticism and sexual activity key area for moral regulation often informing the moral regulation of seemingly non sexual activities.  The making of the moral and immoral – the right and wrong ways to live – which often in the west has its roots in absolutist church ideologies has especially been applied to the body and its pleasures over the last two centuries. o New knowledge of medicine, psychiatry and psychology came to build on earlier church based prohibitions and came to transform and shift moral/immoral distinctions on a new secular and scientific basis o New terrain of sexuality came to be defined in the 19 century as an essential instinct or drive that defined people’s activities and began to become the truth of people’s beings o Lead to opening of new social spaces outside the family realm and the household economy through the development of capitalist social relations o Sexual policing is the social policing of this new terrain of sexuality focusing on the regulation of deviant sexualities through the sexation of the criminal code and police activity into new areas of sexual activity  The criminal code sections referring to sex-related offenses against morality until they were moved into a new second called sexual offences in the 1950s o Expansion of the policing of the sexual through growing police and criminal justice systems and other social agencies – form of sexual resistance were generated by groups of people seeking social spaces  The moralization of the sexual continued even after there was a shift away from moral conservatism – an approach that argues that there is only one right sexuality religious based and against erotic activity outside of marriage – towards a more liberal policy of sexual regulation focus on public/private distinctions in the 1960s  In the late nineteeth and twentienth centuries heterosexuality was associated with the natural, normal the clean the healthy and the pure; homosexuality was in contrast the dangerous the impure the unnatural the sick and abnormal o Homosexuality personality characteristics are perceived to be a problem and its association constructed with Marxism and its challenge to capitalism o The construction of homosexuality as a moral and political problem has been closely related to its construction as a deviant sexuality o Strategy for disciplinary power and power knowledge relations is normalization - Micheal  Normalization leads to the making normal of only some practices and ways of living and the making of others as pathological abnormal and deviant o The normalization of sexuality has involved forms of policing and criminalization as well as psychiatric psychological and sociological forms of disciplary knowledge o Deviancy is an administrative collecting category grouping together different social practices with very different social characteristics so they can all be addressed together as deviant o The paradigmatic example of deviance have been homosexuality and prostitution  The historical and social process not only marginalizes the deviant homosexual on the social periphery it also places the normal heterosexual at the social centre  The world of national security looks very different if we start from the social experiences of those most detrimentally affected. o Harold’s experiences were shaped both through security regime practices that defined homosexuals as threats to nation security because of their character weakness and the policies of the Canadian military which called for the disposal of all sex deviates found in the military which pre-dated and helped to shape these security campaigns.  The construction of homosexuality made homosexuality into a moral/ethic problem as well as a security problem – and in some ways a security problem because of these immoral characteristics  Homosexuals were constructed as a security problem because of their characteristics which included weaknesses unreliability and unethical and immoral characteristics o Regarded homosexuals as psychopathic personalities who were unable to tell the difference between right and wrong or to control their sexual impulses and this linked to national security concerns regarding moral and character weakness o Homosexual character is one of the ways that practices of moral regulation enter into the national security campaigns against gay men and lesbians and constructed as distinct from the normal  Two major theories theoretical/methodological approa
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