Queer theory


Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.

Queer theory

an approach to issues of sex and gender which has primarily arisen out of postmodernist thought. Queer theory rehabilitates the pejorative term ‘queer’ in order to denote nonconformist sexualities (not necessarily homosexualities) which serve to subvert and confront conventional categories of GENDER and SEXUALITY. These sexualities may include transgressive acts such as sadomasochism and the production of PORNOGRAPHY, TRANSVESTISM and gay camp.

In emphasizing the ‘performative’ aspects of gender and sexuality, Queer theory emphasizes their unnaturalness. From this perspective there are no fundamental identities underlying maleness or femaleness, HOMOSEXUALITY or HETEROSEXUALITY. Emanating from Queer Theory, queer politics seeks to destabilize and collapse existing categories of gender and sexuality. Both Queer theory and Queer politics may be regarded as coming into conflict with FEMINISM generally and lesbian feminism in particular. By emphasizing sexual pleasure as unproblematized they fail to address the role played by sexual politics in the subordination of women. (See S. Wilkinson and C. Kitzinger, 1994.)

Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
"Playing Peter Pan: Conceptualizing 'Bois' in Contemporary Queer Theory." Canadian Woman Studies 24.2-3 (2005): 75-86.
Queer theory has evolved out of gay and lesbian studies, feminist theory and post-structuralism.
But any shaking of Shakespeare must also shake queer theory and rethink two main assumptions: 'that queerness has a historical start date [which Menon argues is the nineteenth century]; and that queerness is a synonym for embodied homosexuality [which Menon argues is a post nineteenth-century phenomenon]' (pp.
In these chapters, especially in the discussion of Webster's Duchess of Malfi, Haber's argument is involved less with queer theory than with French feminism.
A traditional reading of queer theory, one committed to a subjectless, white, sexual practice and post-identity analysis (along the lines detailed and critiqued by scholars such as Jose Munoz or Jack Halberstam), does not easily allow connections to be made between Derrion and Carl.
Still, my queer triangle allows me to speak of queer theory in ways that make sense to me, and, I hope, to my students.
has nothing to do with queer theory, so I put my individual queerness
As fun as it might be to screw my way through all those who trash queer theory, it is not my lack of comfort with my sexuality that leads me not to assume, as Kramer and Brass apparently do, that every instance of same-sex desire is part of "my" history.
My second anecdote revolves around the students who signed up for my already embattled course in Queer Theory. Narratives about trashing and pogroms in queer studies courses are so common, and were especially so in the early days of gay and lesbian studies, that they have almost become their own genre.
Her work was pivotal to queer theory and gender studies.
Though sexual politics as critical praxis was never the same after the publication of these two landmark works of queer theory, it would be wrong to see the books as definitive brackets of what Butler, in an essay published in editors Stephen M.
There have been a number of more academic inclined queer theory journals, special journal issues and a steady stream of queer articles.