The Normativity of the Concept of Heteronormativity

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The Normativity of the Concept of Heteronormativity

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Title The Normativity of the Concept of Heteronormativity
Author(s) Herz, Marcus ; Johansson, Thomas
Date 2013
English abstract
Heteronormativity is one of the key concepts within gender studies. The concept often describes a body of lifestyle norms, and how people tend to reproduce distinct and complementary genders. Heteronormativity is often seen as contributing to an understanding of how more general gender structures and hierarchies are constructed in society. There is however a tendency to include increasingly more aspects of gender and lifestyle issues under the heading of heteronormativity. As such the concept works as a critique not only of gender divisions and hierarchies, but also of more specific ways of organizing the family, sexuality and lifestyle. The aim of this paper is to analyse and critically examine the use of the concept of heteronormativity in studies on education, and the claims made under the heading of this concept. Although we find this concept very useful, it also seems important to adjust the concept to some extent in order to be able to analyse for example contemporary progressive youth culture. Basically, it seems that there are two common ways of approaching and using the concept in relation to youth and education. First, how sexual behaviours not fitting into the sex/gender system are marginalized and made invisible. Second, a more extended notion of heteronormativity, where not only sexual behaviour and desires are scrutinized but also more general issues on lifestyle, family life and forms of life. This paper will discuss this duality and a possible path away from this “built-in” normativity of heteronormativity.
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES
Note Gender and Education Biennial conference, 2013, Compelling diversities, educational intersections: Policy, Practice, Parity, April 23-26 London, UK
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