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Queering Paradigms V

Queering Narratives of Modernity


Edited By María Amelia Viteri and Manuela Lavinas Picq

The authors of this edited volume use a queer perspective to address colonialism as localized in the Global South, to analyse how the queer can be decolonized and to map the implications of such conversations on hegemonic and alternative understandings of modernity. This book is distinct in at least four ways. First, its content is a rare blend of original scholarly pieces with internationally acclaimed art. Second, it is a volume that blends theoretical debates with policy praxis, filling a gap that often tends to undermine the reach of either side at play. Third, its topic is unique, as sexual politics are put in direct dialogue with post-colonial debates. Fourth, the book brings to the forefront voices from the Global South/non-core to redefine a field that has been largely framed and conceptualized in the Global North/core.
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Memory Mulalo Mphaphuli - Everyday heterosexualities of young people in South Africa


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Everyday heterosexualities of young people in South Africa

I embarked on a project called ‘interrogating heterosexuality’ as a young post-graduate sociology student in an attempt to understand my own sexuality, that is heterosexuality, in post-apartheid South Africa. I believed, like Johnson (2005: 5), that heterosexuality reflects ‘ironically, the poor relation in sexuality studies but (…) privilege in social life’. In other words, heterosexuality continues to be taken as a largely silent ‘truth’, privileged by its ‘natural’ and thus ‘compulsory’ status that is rarely ever interrogated. In South Africa, heterosexuality is often examined in relation to HIV and AIDS and seldom on its own. It is never critically interrogated for what it is.

Similarly to many young women and men who have been taught ‘sexual education’, I learned how to use a condom from the numerous demonstrations given to me using a dildo. In schools, clinics, road shows and if one is ‘fortunate’ like I was even at home, one is taught how to use a condom and about ‘good’ sexual practices. I learned a good deal about sexually transmitted infections (STIs), especially HIV/AIDS, and how to protect myself from being infected. Yet none of this could satisfactorily explain how my own (hetero)sexuality is constituted by and reflective of my social and cultural contexts. We almost never openly discuss sexuality, much less how our different cultures, class positions, racial and gender identities interact in the production of our sexual...

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