Prerna (1537249): Queer Theory and Sociology: Locating the Subject and Self in Sexuality Studies by Adam Isaiah Green ( First 10 Pages)

Green, Adam Isaiah. “Queer Theory and Sociology: Locating the Subject and the Self in Sexuality Studies.” Sociological Theory 25.1 (2007): 26-45. Web. 23 June 2016

According to the author, queer theory offers a shift in the paradigm  when one tries to contemplate subjectivities. The author majorly has two main arguments. The first being that self and identity are “complex shifting formatives constituted in language and interaction.” (Green 26). Second he argues that queer theory must maintain a deconstructionist framework while approaching sexuality. Although Seidman critiques queer theory for its “refusal to name a subject”, it is imperative that queer theory maintains this lest it gives into the heteronormative mode of structuring society.

In my opinion the refusal to name a subject draws from the fact that identities are fluid and that gender performances function as a simulacra, with there being no original to refer back to.  The author then levels an implicit criticism on the idea that one can associate a history with the emergence of lesbian and gay sexualities. This is precisely because such thought seems to posit the notion that these orientations are not innate in mankind.

The article draws attention to the striking congruence between the regulatory medical discourses of the 19th and 20th centuries and Lesbian and Gay studies of that time.

Furthermore, up to this point Foucauldian notions of knowledge and power have been deployed to understand how “expert discourses” serve as modern day means of social control and shape the hegemonic understanding of sexuality.

The basic tenet f queer theory is to “confront normalizing regimes and their subject objects as sites prime for desconstruction.” ( Green 29)

Green has then referred to Lemert (1951: 54-55) and suggested that when societal reaction to any form of deviant behaviour is severe then it is probable that “integration of existing roles will be disrupted and that reorganization will be based on a new and deviant role will occur.”

Up until this point, the article argues whilst making references to Kessler and McKenna that gender again is a process of attribution. It is not an ontological property of the self. However I would like to conclude this bit by saying that gender again is a performance. Although a certain way of ‘performing’ is forced upon us, queer theorists jar our rational faculties and force us to go beyond that.


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