Sociology Index


The word ‘queer’ was a derogatory term for many years but has now been appropriated by a radical section of the gay and lesbian community to identify gay and lesbian culture or studies. Gay and lesbian studies or rather queer culture studies, is becoming as legitimate in the academic community as are women's studies or black studies. Cultural studies is interested in examining gay and lesbian 'Queer' culture as depicted in the writings, films, or art work of the community and in analyzing the public identity of this cultural community. Stonewall Riots at the Stonewall Inn marked the beginning of resistance against intolerance towards people oriented differently. Homophobia is an uncontrollable fear of homosexuals and Xenophobia is fear of strangers. Defining and embracing a true gay culture, which goes well beyond sexuality, is the next stage. We see organizations like gay softball leagues, gay choirs, and gay running clubs.

Queer Culture Books, Articles And Abstracts

The Construction of Queer Culture in India. Ana Garcia-Arroyo.
These words from Ana Garcia-Arroyo's book The Construction of Queer Culture in India: Pioneers and Landmarks are prescient and may well prove prophetic, at least in a limited way, in the Indian context. Though no revolt or revolution may be in the offing in the near future. India as a culture seems poised for a significant change in attitudes to same-sex love and relationships. -Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific. Issue 16, March 2008.

Qualitative research into queer lovestyles has revealed patterns; one of these being heteroaffectional. Through the narratives of historical case studies, reasons emerge as to why opposite gendered queer people "pair-bond." In the chaotic ecology of queerdom and in the infinite possibilities of love, this is not meant to be a definitive declaration, rather an exploration of uncharted territory.

Queer Culture Articles And Abstracts

'Coming home': Queer migrations and multiple evocations of home 
Anne-Marie Fortier, Department of Sociology, Lancaster University, UK. 
This article proposes an examination of recent interventions in queer studies that project queer culture and politics within a diasporic framework. Drawing on written narratives of what may be termed 'queer migrations', I seek to map the intersections of queer memories and diasporic spaces as they are uttered in terms of 'home'. By following the movement of queer subjects between homes, I examine how 'home', migration and belonging relate to each other in multiple ways.

What's that Smell? - Queer Temporalities and Subcultural Lives 
Judith Halberstam, University of California, San Diego, USA.
This article is drawn from a book-length study of the explosion of queer urban subcultures in the last decade. Queer uses of time and space develop in opposition to the institutions of family, heterosexuality and reproduction, and queer subcultures develop as alternatives to kinship structure based notions of community. In my work on subcultures, I explore the stretched out adolescences of queer culture-makers and posit an epistemology of youth that disrupts conventional accounts of subculture. This article argues that we should look now at the forms of stylistic resistance embedded in queer subcultural worlds.

The Transgendered and Transgressive Student 
Rhetoric and Identity in Trans-Queer Ethnography.
Abstract: This instructor/student co-produced webtext examines the challenges and benefits of creating a trans-queer ethnography in the context of the computer-mediated writing classroom, in academia, and in the cultural terrain of contemporary America.

The Heart in Exile: Detachment and Desire in 1950s London 
Matt Houlbrook and Chris Waters. 
This essay explores the ‘underground’ queer culture of London, as mapped assiduously by the pseudonymous author, Rodney Garland, in his 1953 novel, The Heart in Exile. The novel charts the progress of its narrator, Dr Anthony Page, a psychiatrist, as he investigates a former lover's mysterious death. We need to view Garland's London as radically unfamiliar territory, a queer world, but not a gay world as we now understand the term. It defamiliarizes the London of 1953, mapping the ways in which the queer subject was then constituted, and demonstrates how The Heart in Exile is central to the project of destabilizing those categories of identity taken for granted today.

Queer is Here? Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Histories and Public Culture. - Robert Mills.
This article documents the emergence, in recent years, of a prominent discourse on queer history in the public sphere. I argue that models of sexual orientation leave certain dimensions of queer experience and desire untold. Drawing on recent efforts to theorize the relationship between publics and queer counterpublics, I conclude that the translation of queer history into the language of public culture ideally entails a contestation of the very norms of presentation and consumption in which museums and other popular history narratives are currently embedded.