Sexuality Debates In Kerala


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Sexuality Debates In Kerala

  1. 1. <ul><li>Study of cultural phenomena in various societies </li></ul><ul><li>Study of the meaning and practices of everyday life </li></ul><ul><li>Analyzed the social and political context in which culture manifests itself </li></ul><ul><li>Examined cultural practices and their relation to power </li></ul>
  2. 2. <ul><li>The term was coined by Richard Hoggart in 1964 when he founded the Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies </li></ul><ul><li>Not a unified theory but a diverse field of study encompassing many different approaches, methods, and academic perspectives </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Social Constructionism: a sociological and psychological theory of knowledge that considers all social phenomena as products/constructs of particular social contexts </li></ul><ul><li>A social construct: a concept , experience or practice which may appear to be natural and obvious to those who accept it, in spite of being merely an invention or artifact of a particular culture or society in a specific context. </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Socially constructed </li></ul><ul><li>An ongoing, dynamic process </li></ul><ul><li>Reproduced by people acting on their interpretations and their knowledge of it </li></ul><ul><li>Common sense knowledge of everyday reality: derived from and maintained by social interactions </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>1970s debates: separated the social from the biological </li></ul><ul><li>Gender as a system of signs, or signifiers assigned to sexually dimorphic bodies </li></ul><ul><li>Served to differentiate the social roles and meanings those bodies could have. </li></ul><ul><li>Gender as a social construct </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Critique of the sexual commoditization of women </li></ul><ul><li>Assertion of women’s sexuality and sexual autonomy </li></ul><ul><li>Examination of the ways in which female sexuality had been repressed: widowhood, sati , female circumcision etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Critique of normative nuclear family and gendered division of labor and social status </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Poststructuralist idea of selfhood: as a constructed idea </li></ul><ul><li>Something not &quot;naturally&quot; produced by bodies or by birth </li></ul><ul><li>Selfhood (in post-structuralist theory) becomes &quot;subjecthood&quot; or &quot;subjectivity” </li></ul><ul><li>Sexuality, presumed as an innate or essentialist category: now open to reformulation </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Stonewall Rebellion: 1968 </li></ul><ul><li>Emergence of Gay and Lesbian Studies: 1980s. </li></ul><ul><li>Examination of social structures and social constructs which define our ideas about sexuality as act and sexuality as identity </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>How the categories of normal and deviant are constructed? </li></ul><ul><li>How do they operate? </li></ul><ul><li>How are they are enforced? </li></ul><ul><li>Attempts to intervene--to change or end the normative patterns </li></ul><ul><li>A political form of academics: challenged the notion of normative sexualities </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Gay/lesbian studies focused largely on questions of homosexuality: More activist in nature </li></ul><ul><li>Queer Studies :Debates of more academic nature; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Revitalised ‘queer’ as a term of political empowerment </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Queer theory: looks at, studies, and has a political critique of anything that falls into normative and deviant categories-- particularly sexual activities and identities. </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Insists that all sexual behaviors, all concepts linking sexual behaviors to sexual identities, and all categories of normative and deviant sexualities, are social constructs </li></ul><ul><li>Rejects the idea that sexuality is an essentialist category, something determined by biology </li></ul><ul><li>Sexuality is a complex array of social codes and forces, forms of individual activity and institutional power, which interact to shape the ideas of what is normative and what is deviant at any particular moment </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Sexuality is nothing more than a social construct </li></ul><ul><li>Sexuality : a tool for distributing certain kinds of power </li></ul><ul><li>Examined the transforming relationship of sexuality with power and knowledge, in 19 th C Europe </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Criticized feminism for reinforcing a binary view of gender relations: ie human beings as divided into two clear-cut groups-- women and men </li></ul><ul><li>Gender: a relation among socially constituted subjects in specifiable contexts </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>gender should be seen as a fluid variable which shifts and changes in different contexts and at different times </li></ul><ul><li>gender and desire are flexible, free-floating and not 'caused' by other stable factors </li></ul><ul><li>identity is performatively constituted by the very &quot;expressions&quot; that are said to be its results. </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>History of sexuality: not a history of discourses of sexuality </li></ul><ul><li>Sexuality: not a timeless or ahistorical dimension of human experience </li></ul><ul><li>Need to look at the historicity of desire and human beings as subjects of desire </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>Complicates the notion of visual pleasure </li></ul><ul><li>Popular Cinema: Valuable in the study of the ways in which non-normative sexualities are appropriated by normative social forces </li></ul><ul><li>Throws light on transforming notions of gender, desire, pleasure and their their socio-political implica tions </li></ul>