Queering English Studies: Paving the Way for Social Justice JUAN RAMÓN GUIJARRO-OJEDA 49
JUAN RAMÓN GUIJARRO-OJEDA Queering English Studies: Paving the Way for Social Justice 1. Introduction Teaching and research on sexual identities within language education is often under-appreciated by teachers and students or, in the best case, flippantly addressed in a patchwork fashion just distinguishing cultural roles assigned to men and women or including images of both in teaching materials. Yet, as proved by international studies, sexuality issues do arise in educational settings and thus, must be confronted. Issues pertaining to sexual identities (almost exclusively heterosexual) are often present, and possibilities for queer discussions arise con- tinually, not to mention that among students and teachers/lecturers there are almost always queer individuals. For this reason, teachers (in general) should never assume that their students are all heterosexual, just like students should never assume that their teachers are all heterosexual. Though bashfully, in the Spanish context some studies are being raised around the identity positions formulated by Queer Theory not only in the field of foreign languages but also in others like kinship. An instance of this is the pioneering work of Álvarez Bernardo (2010), who takes as a starting point the postulates of Queer Theory to reformulate the Spanish system of kinship and adapt it to the new social demands as an attempt to social justice and non-discrimination. Relevant issues as the new technologies of reproduction for queer people have come to destabilize the traditional system and consider new ways of parenting and social ideology. As put forward by Nelson (1999), a...
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