Butler and Foucault: Que(e)rying Marriage

Linnell Secomb

in Philosophy and Love

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print May 2007 | ISBN: 9780748623679
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671854 | DOI:
Butler and Foucault: Que(e)rying Marriage

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This chapter explores same-sex marriage and the public and political implications of marriage elaborated by Judith Butler. It also investigates the debates around kinship, recognition, erotic love and ceremony. Butler finds herself awkwardly positioned in relation to the same-sex marriage debate. For Butler, kinship is an ‘enacted practice’ through which dependents are nurtured and cared for. The same-sex marriage debate may transform the current understandings of gay and lesbian identity. The claim that marriage is about love and offers recognition of gay and lesbian love is vital to the pro-same-sex marriage position. Michel Foucault's insistence on the importance of love, friendship and affection explains perhaps why same-sex marriage has become so central to lesbian and gay politics. The Fluxus and Love Art Laboratory weddings challenge the static nature of traditional weddings, the reduction of two to one, and the exclusion of the intimate friend/family network from marriage.

Keywords: same-sex marriage; Judith Butler; kinship; recognition; erotic love; ceremony; Michel Foucault; Fluxus; Love Art Laboratory weddings

Chapter.  6611 words. 

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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