Chapter

Homophobia (1): Sexual/Political Deviance

Jonathan Dollimore

in Sexual Dissidence

Published in print August 1991 | ISBN: 9780198112259
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191670732 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198112259.003.0016
Homophobia (1): Sexual/Political Deviance

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The charge of homophobia is itself a kind of reverse discourse facilitated by the dynamic of perversion itself. As Ken Plummer observes, whereas once it was the homosexual who was viewed as sick, now it might be the heterosexual who is charged with pathology. Most provocatively, those gender anxieties are found to harbour a repressed homosexuality. The reversal remains inadequate in that it conceives of homophobia in mainly psychosexual terms, and phobic ones at that. The broad sense in which this chapter uses homophobia is loosely descriptive of a manifest phenomenon: the hatred, fear, and persecution of, the raging at, homosexuality and homosexuals. Here the chapter focuses on the genealogy of two aspects of discrimination, namely, displacement between the political deviance and sexual deviance, and the idea of perversion as an inimical absence.

Keywords: homophobia; perversion; homosexuality; discrimination; political deviance; sexual deviance; hatred; fear; persecution; homosexuals

Chapter.  6609 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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