Post structural identities are always multiple

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Post-Structural – identities are always multiple, interact and intersect, unstable and shifting – understanding can change Discourse – ways of constituting knowledge, ways of explaining the world Continuum – range or series of things that are slightly diff from each other and that exist between two diff possibilities Transvestite – early 20 th C; context of eccentricity or a disorder Transsexual – medicalized term for gender identity disorder ; assigned as sex and can move to another binary Transgender – differentiated based on degree of medical interventions; fluid and variable; doesn’t rely on a binary Introduction and Background History was very malestream and sexuality was neglected in favor of a focus on economy, church, and social class Heterosexuality was assumed to be the norm so they didn’t look into anything else Change came in postwar context feminist activism and sexual politics Homosexual subcultures and challenges to homosexuality became more prevalent in social discourse Historical and Social Responses Initial response: look at patterns of sexuality marital, pre-marital, extra-marital 1970s: growing public foucs on homosexuality – gay and lesbian social movements; naturalization of homosexuality Paradigm shifts in gay and lesbian politics; shifts towards social constructionist thinking about sexuality Exclusion of lesbian identities and interests; conflict over issues of racialization and sexuality Theorizing about Identity Queer theorists seek to shift from homosexual theorizing to more general social theorizing Emergence of queer theory due to: radical politics of difference, importance of post structural theory, intersectionality Challenges: rejection of a unified sexual subject/identity Foucault Power is exercised through knowledge; not just overt domination but through discourses Power relations – power circulates in everyday interactions, regimes or truth Epistemes broader intellectual presuppositions of an era governed by rules that set boundaries Archaeology of knowledge problematized history; underline what is taken for granted Medicalizing discourses and the control they had to shape activities and interactions Queer Identity and HIV 1982 HIV/AIDS discovered, named GRID (Gay-Related Immune Deficiency), heterosexist/homophobic response Only named HIV/AIDS once it spread to the general population (Human immunodeficiency virus) Movement from a specific sexual risk group to universal risk factors couldn’t be linked to identity Gender Binaries vs. Gender Continua & Gender Dimensionality Male/Female Binary – reflected early feminist activism, theorizing taken for granted/essentialist theorizing Challenges: what ties women as a category together? Challenges for representing the interests of women Gender Continuum two different possibilities M vs F (binary) and represents either end of the gender continuum Lots of different genders fall between M and F Identity as Dimensional:

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