The Fracturing of LGBT Identities under Neoliberal Capitalism

In: Historical Materialism

Abstract

Historians have linked the emergence of contemporary lesbian/gay identities to the development of capitalism. A materialist approach should also look at different forms of sexual identity, and their connections with specific phases of capitalist development. Marxist long-wave theory can help us understand how the decline of Fordism contributed to shifts in LGBT identities, speeding the consolidation of gay identity while fostering the rise of alternative sexual identities. These alternative identities, sometimes defined as ‘queer’, characterised by sexual practices that are still stigmatised, by explicit power-differentials and above all by gender-nonconformity, are particularly common among young and disadvantaged working-class strata. The growing diversity of identities is a challenge to any gay universalism that neglects class, gender, sexual, racial/ethnic and other differences, to the currently dominant forms of lesbian/gay organising, and ultimately to the prevailing division of human beings into gay and straight.1

  • AlthusserLouisBrewsterBen, '‘Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses (Notes Towards an Investigation)’', in Lenin and Philosophy and Other Essays, (Monthly Review Press, New York 1971 [1970]).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • AltmanDennis, The Homosexualization of America: The Americanization of the Homosexual, (St Martin’s Press, New York 1982).

  • AltmanDennis, '‘The Emergence of Gay Identities in Southeast Asia’' (2000) .

  • AltmanDennis, '‘Neo-Colonialism or Liberation: Who Invented the “Global Gay”?’' paper delivered at the Cheers Queers Conference, 27 April, Queer Zagreb.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • AndrewsEdmund L., '‘Economic Inequality Grew in ’90s Boom, Fed Reports’' (2003) New York Times, January: 1.

  • BadgettM.V. Lee, '‘Beyond Biased Samples: Challenging the Myths on the Economic Status of Lesbians and Gay Men’' (1997) .

  • BadgettM.V. LeeKingMary C., '‘Lesbian and Gay Occupational Strategies’' (1997) .

  • BérubéAlan, '‘Marching to a Different Drummer: Lesbian and Gay GIs in World War II’' (1983) .

  • BrennerJohanna, '‘Transnational Feminism and the Struggle for Global Justice’' (2003) 9(2) New Politics: 78-87.

  • BrowneKath, '‘ “By Partner We Mean . . .”: Alternative Geographies of “Gay Marriage” ’' (2011) 14(1) Sexualities: 100-122.

  • ButlerJudith, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, (Routledge, London 1999).

  • CalifiaPat, '‘A Personal View of the History of the Lesbian S/M Community and Movement in San Francisco’' (1982) .

  • CalifiaPat, Public Sex: The Culture of Radical Sex, (Cleis Press, San Francisco 2000).

  • CalifiaPatrick, Sex Changes: Transgender Politics, (Cleis Press, San Francisco 2003).

  • ChaunceyGeorge, Gay New York: Gender Urban Culture and the Making of the Gay Male World 1890–1940, (Basic Books, New York 1994).

  • DavisMike, Prisoners of the American Dream: Politics and Economy in the History of the U.S. Working Class, (Verso, London 1986).

  • D’EmilioJohn, '‘Capitalism and Gay Identity’' (1983a) 1983.

  • D’EmilioJohn, Sexual Politics Sexual Communities: The Making of a Homosexual Minority in the United States 1940–1970, (University of Chicago Press, Chicago 1983b).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • DruckerPeter, '‘Gay Liberation’s Second Wave: What Is Queer Nationalism?’' (1993) 43 Against the Current: 28-30.

  • DruckerPeter, '‘ “In the Tropics There Is No Sin”: Sexuality and Gay-Lesbian Movements in the Third World’' (1996) I(218) New Left Review: 75-101.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • DruckerPeter, '‘Gays and the Left: Scratching the Surface’' (1997) 68 Against the Current: 35-37.

  • DruckerPeter, '‘Introduction: Remapping Sexualities’' (2000a) 2000.

  • DruckerPeter, '‘Reinventing Liberation: Strategic Challenges for Lesbian/Gay Movements’' (2000b) 2000.

  • DruckerPeter, '‘Changing Families and Communities: An LGBT Contribution to an Alternative Development Path’' (2009) 19(7) Development in Practice: 825-836.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • DruckerPeter, '‘The New Sexual Radicalism: Socialist Feminist Reflections on Queer Activism’' (2010) 146 Against the Current: 23-28.

  • Peter Drucker (ed), Different Rainbows, (Millivres/Gay Men’s Press, London 2000).

  • DugganLisa, '‘The New Homonormativity: The Sexual Politics of Neoliberalism’', in Russ Castronovo and Dana D. Nelson (eds), Materializing Democracy: Toward a Revitalized Cultural Politics, (Duke University Press, Durham, NC. 2002).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • EscoffierJeffrey, '‘The Political Economy of the Closet: Notes Towards an Economic History of Gay and Lesbian Life before Stonewall’' (1997) .

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • FernbachDavid, The Spiral Path: A Gay Contribution to Human Survival, (Gay Men’s Press, London 1981).

  • FernbachDavid, '‘Biology and Gay Identity’' (1998) I(228) New Left Review: 47-66.

  • FloydKevin, The Reification of Desire: Toward a Queer Marxism, (University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis 2009).

  • FoucaultMichelHurleyRobert, The History of Sexuality Volume 1: An Introduction, (Pantheon, New York 1978 [1976]).

  • GalbraithJames K.Garza CantúV., '‘Inequality in American Manufacturing Wages, 1920–1998: A Revised Estimate’', in James K. Galbraith and Maureen Berner (eds), Inequality and Industrial Change: A Global View, (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2001).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • GluckmanAmyReedBetsy, '‘Introduction’' (1997) .

  • Amy Gluckman and Betsy Reed (eds), Homo Economics: Capitalism Community and Lesbian and Gay Life, (Routledge, London 1997).

  • GreenbergDavid F., The Construction of Homosexuality, (University of Chicago Press, Chicago 1988).

  • HeaphyBrian, '‘Gay Identities and the Culture of Class’' (2011) 14(1) Sexualities: 42-62.

  • HennessyRosemary, Profit and Pleasure: Sexual Identities in Late Capitalism, (Routledge, London 2000).

  • HerndonApril, '‘Why Doesn’t ISNA Want to Eradicate Gender?’' (2006) available at: <http://www.isna.org/faq/not_eradicating_gender>.

  • HollibaughAmberMoragaCherríe, '‘What We’re Rollin’ Around in Bed with: Sexual Silences in Feminism’' (1983) .

  • JacobsMichael P., '‘Do Gay Men Have a Stake in Male Privilege? The Political Economy of Gay Men’s Contradictory Relationship to Feminism’' (1997) .

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • KatzJonathan Ned, The Invention of Heterosexuality, (Penguin Books USA, New York 1995).

  • Robin Ruth Linden, Darlene Pagano, Diana E.H. Russell and Susan Leigh Star (eds), Against Sadomasochism: A Radical Feminist Analysis, (Frog in the Well, East Palo Alto 1982).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MandelErnestde BresJoris, Late Capitalism, (Verso, London 1978 [1972]).

  • MandelErnest, Long Waves of Capitalist Development: A Marxist Interpretation, (Verso, London 1995).

  • MansillaLuis A., '‘El ángel caído’' (1996) Punto Final, October: 23.

  • MarcuseHerbert, Eros and Civilization: A Philosophical Inquiry into Freud, (Beacon Press, Boston 1966).

  • MarxKarl, '‘Preface to A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy' Marx and Engels (eds), , (1968 [1859]) 1968.

    • Export Citation
  • MarxKarlEngelsFrederick, Selected Works in One Volume, (International Publishers, New York 1968).

  • McDermottElizabeth, '‘The World Some Have Won: Sexuality, Class and Inequality’' (2011) 14(1) Sexualities: 63-78.

  • MepschenPaulDuyvendakJan WillemTonkensEvelien, '‘Sexual Politics, Orientalism, and Multicultural Citizenship in the Netherlands’' (2010) 44(5) Sociology: 962-979.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • MoorePatrick, Beyond Shame: Reclaiming the Abandoned History of Radical Gay Sexuality, (Beacon Press, Boston 2004).

  • NestleJoan, '‘The Fem Question’' (1989) .

  • OetomoDédé, '‘Gender and Sexual Orientation’', in Laurie J. Sears (ed), Fantasizing the Feminine in Indonesia, (Duke University Press, Durham, NC. 1996).

  • PalaversichDiana, '‘The Wounded Body of Proletarian Homosexuality in Pedro Lemebel’s Loco afán' (2002) 29(2) Latin American Perspectives: 99-118.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • PattersonTorvald, '‘Queer without Fear’', (Amsterdam 2000) n.p..

    • Export Citation
  • PuarJasbir, Terrorist Assemblages: Homonationalism in Queer Times, (Duke University Press, Durham, NC. 2007).

  • ReynoldsPaul, '‘Some Thoughts on Marxism and the Social Construction of Sexuality’' paper for the ‘Socialism and Sexuality’ conference, , University of Amsterdam n.p..

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • RichAdrienne, '‘Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence’' (1983) .

  • RobsonRuthann, Lesbian (Out)Law: Survival under the Rule of Law, (Firebrand, Ithaca 1992).

  • RobsonRuthann, '‘To Market, to Market: Considering Class in the Context of Lesbian Legal Theories and Reforms’', in Susan Raffo (ed), Queerly Classed, (South End Press, Boston 1997).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • RomeroAdam P.BaumleAmanda K.BadgettM.V. LeeGatesGary J., '‘U.S. Census Snapshot, December 2007’' (2007) available at: <www.law.ucla.edu/williamsinstitute/publications/USCensusSnapshot.pdf>.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • RubinGayle, '‘The Leather Menace: Comments on Politics and S/M’' (1982) .

  • RubinGayle, '‘Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality’' (1989) .

  • Samois (ed), Coming to Power: Writing and Graphics on Lesbian S/M, (Alyson, Boston 1982).

  • SearsAlan, '‘Queer Anti-Capitalism: What’s Left of Lesbian and Gay Liberation?’' (2005) 69(1) Science & Society: 92-112.

  • SeidmanSteven, Difference Troubles: Queering Social Theory and Sexual Politics, (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1997).

  • SeidmanSteven, '‘Class Matters . . . But How Much? Class, Nation, and Queer Life’', in Sexualities, (2011) 36-41.

  • Ann Barr Snitow, Christine Stansell and Sharon Thompson (eds), Powers of Desire: The Politics of Sexuality, (Monthly Review Press, New York 1983).

  • Transgender Law Center and San Francisco Bay Guardian, '‘Good Jobs Now!’' (2006) available at: <www.transgenderlawcenter.org/pdf/Good%20Jobs%20NOW%20report.pdf>.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Carole S. Vance (ed), Pleasure and Danger: Exploring Female Sexuality, (Pandora, London 1989).

  • WarmerdamHansKoendersPieter, Cultuur en Ontspanning: Het COC 1946–1966, (Interfacultaire Werkgroep Homostudies, Utrecht 1987).

  • WekkerGloria, '‘ “What’s Identity Got to Do with It” ’', in Evelyn Blackwood and Saskia Wieringa (eds), Female Desires: Same-Sex Relations and Transgender Practices across Cultures, (Columbia University Press, New York 1999).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • WentRobert, Globalization: Neoliberal Challenge Radical Responses, (IIRE and Pluto Press, Amsterdam/London 2000).

  • WolfSherry, Sexuality and Socialism: History Politics and Theory of LGBT Liberation, (Haymarket Books, Chicago 2009).

  • 3.

    See for example D’Emilio 1983a.

  • 4.

    See for example Hennessy 2000; Sears 2005.

  • 5.

    Floyd 2009p. 2.

  • 6.

    Altman 2003.

  • 7.

    For example Seidman 1997p. 195.

  • 8.

    Reynolds 2003.

  • 10.

    Mandel 1978 and 1995.

  • 12.

    See for example Chauncey 1994pp. 334–46.

  • 13.

    Bérubé 1983.

  • 15.

    Althusser 1971p. 162.

  • 16.

    Floyd 2009.

  • 17.

    Marx 1968p. 182.

  • 18.

    Rich 1983; Wekker 1999. Fernbach (Fernbach 1981 pp. 71–5) gave an early and clear account of the uniqueness of lesbian/gay identity among historically existing forms of same-sex sexuality. Greenberg 1988 provides the most comprehensive survey available of the range of same-sex sexualities.

  • 19.

    Butler 1999.

  • 20.

    Floyd 2009pp. 57–66.

  • 21.

    D’Emilio 1983a.

  • 22.

    Floyd 2009pp. 43–5 following Foucault 1978 pp. 118–23.

  • 23.

    Katz 1995.

  • 24.

    Foucault 1978p. 121.

  • 25.

    Chauncey 1994.

  • 26.

    Drucker 1997p. 37.

  • 27.

    Warmerdam and Koenders 1987pp. 125 153 169; Floyd 2009 pp. 167–8.

  • 28.

    Floyd 2009p. 174.

  • 29.

    D’Emilio 1983b.

  • 30.

    Califia 2003p. 3.

  • 31.

    See Floyd 2009pp. 177–8.

  • 32.

    Floyd 2009pp. 168–9.

  • 33.

    Hennessy 2000p. 6.

  • 35.

    Altman 1982pp. 79–97.

  • 36.

    Gluckman and Reed 1997p. xv.

  • 37.

    Drucker 2009pp. 826–8.

  • 38.

    Altman 2000; Oetomo 1996pp. 265–8.

  • 39.

    Drucker 2000app. 26–7.

  • 40.

    For example Seidman 2011.

  • 41.

    Heaphy 2011.

  • 42.

    McDermott 2011p. 64.

  • 43.

    Floyd 2009p. 64.

  • 44.

    Rubin 1982p. 214.

  • 45.

    Brenner 2003pp. 78–9.

  • 46.

    Browne 2011.

  • 47.

    Puar 2007pp. xxiv 38–9.

  • 48.

    Mepschen Duyvendak and Tonkens 2010.

  • 49.

    Badgett 1997p. 81.

  • 50.

    Sears 2005p. 106.

  • 51.

    Badgett and King 1997pp. 68–9.

  • 52.

    Romero Baumle Badgett and Gates 2007p. 2 cited in Wolf 2009 p. 241.

  • 54.

    Escoffier 1997p. 131.

  • 55.

    Jacobs 1997.

  • 56.

    Sears 2005p. 103.

  • 57.

    Rubin 1982p. 219; Califia 1982 pp. 280 244–8.

  • 58.

    Altman 1982p. 191.

  • 60.

    Altman 1982p. 195.

  • 61.

    Rubin 1982p. 222.

  • 62.

    Nestle 1989; Hollibaugh and Moraga 1983pp. 397–404.

  • 65.

    Drucker 1993p. 29.

  • 66.

    Patterson 2000.

  • 67.

    Seidman 1997p. 193; Drucker 1993 p. 29.

  • 68.

    Califia 2003p. xiv.

  • 69.

    Hennessy 2000pp. 140–1.

  • 70.

    Drucker 1996.

  • 71.

    Oetomo 1996pp. 265–8.

  • 72.

    See for example Drucker 1993p. 29.

  • 73.

    Robson 1992p. 87 cited in Robson 1997 p. 175 n. 13.

  • 74.

    Drucker 1993p. 29.

  • 75.

    Sears 2005p. 100.

  • 76.

    Hennessy 2000p. 113.

  • 77.

    Altman 1982p. 154.

  • 78.

    Butler 1999p. 44.

  • 79.

    Califia 2000pp. 186–9.

  • 80.

    Califia 2003pp. 52–85.

  • 81.

    Califia 2003p. 224.

  • 82.

    Herndon 2006p. 1 cited in Wolf 2009 p. 230.

  • 83.

    Mansilla 1996p. 23 cited in Palaversich 2002 p. 104.

  • 84.

    Drucker 2000a.

  • 85.

    Rubin 1989p. 279.

  • 86.

    Hollibaugh and Moraga 1983p. 396.

  • 87.

    See Fernbach 1998p. 51; Drucker 1997 p. 37.

  • 88.

    Chauncey 1994.

  • 89.

    Oetomo 1996pp. 265–8.

  • 93.

    Califia 2003p. 256.

  • 94.

    Wekker 1999p. 132.

  • 95.

    Marcuse 1966pp. 191 195 203.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 643 602 41
Full Text Views 361 344 19
PDF Downloads 79 74 6