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Queering social reproduction: queer materiality in its ambivalence [European Network for Queer Anthropology (ENQA)] 
Andreas Streinzer (University of St. Gallen)
Ali Venir (Utrecht University)
Valentini Sampethai (Panteion University)
Ryan Davey (Cardiff University)
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Friday 26 July, -, -
Time zone: Europe/Madrid
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Short Abstract:

Through materialist perspectives, we examine queerness as a site of tension, where the social reproduction of queer/trans life intersects with processes of social differentiation that devalue certain bodies while enabling others to accrue value.

Long Abstract:

Marxist-feminists long argued that the work essential for sustaining the physical, social, and emotional existence of communities produces value and cannot be understood as outside capitalist accumulation (Dalla Costa 1975; Leacock 1954; Rubin 1975). They also highlighted cracks in this process of social reproduction. Reproductive labour creates not simply workers, but lives. The surplus of these efforts is never completely captured and maintains the potential for subversion. Recently, queer and trans Marxian scholars explore reproductive labour among queer/trans people, e.g. facilitating gender transitions, forming chosen families, and offering care amid pervasive violence (Gleeson & O’Rourke 2021). Re-working the gender logics of second-wave analyses, they suggest revolutionary potential in non-normative ways of being. Yet, queerness is also not always ‘otherwise’ to capitalism. Their contradictory historical relation (D’Emilio 1997) has occasional affinities, such as homocapitalism (Rao 2015, -nationalism (Puar 2007) or homonormativity (Duggan 2002), alongside oppositions, e.g. illiberal populism.

Rather than queerness being only an identitarian marker, materialist perspectives offer ways to examine it as a site of tension, where the social reproduction of queer/trans communities intersects with the reproduction of capitalist relations marking certain bodies as hyper-exploitable (Hennessy 2013) while enabling others to accrue value. We invite contributions that focus on queer and trans lives and livelihoods (or take a queer/trans sensibility to other subjects), while accounting for ongoing processes of social differentiation, including classed, racialised, gendered, and ableist hierarchies. Instead of universalizing answers, we are interested in ethnographic analyses of how these tensions work out in specific regional/historicised settings.

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Friday 26 July, 2024, -
Session 2 Friday 26 July, 2024, -