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The politics of speaking for : theorizing the limits of liberation and equality in gay and lesbian political discourse

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The politics of speaking for : theorizing the limits of liberation and equality in gay and lesbian political discourse

Mechar, Kyle William (2000) The politics of speaking for : theorizing the limits of liberation and equality in gay and lesbian political discourse. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This thesis offers a critical examination of discourses of liberation and equality in contemporary North American gay and lesbian politics. Informed by work in cultural studies and political theory, it has as its principal theoretical objective a desire to refuse an oppositional political framework, one which looks only or primarily to the impediments to liberation and equality for gays and lesbians. As such, the thesis develops the notion of speaking for (as opposed to against) to analyze how these discourses inadvertently reproduce what they are said to oppose, redress, or resolve. Drawing on both theoretical and popular texts, including the media, for its analyses, the thesis aims to open up debates in gay and lesbian studies and politics through a detailed investigation of a number of recent and on-going sites and struggles. To this end, a central focus in the project is the prevalence of rights in these debates. Arguing neither for nor against specific rights but for a deeper understanding of the culture they produce, the thesis situates rights within the framework of two dimensions of representation: as state formation and the law, on the one hand, and as subject formation, on the other. This framework serves to underscore the implications of waging political demands on the basis of that from which gays and lesbians have been excluded, something the thesis calls into question.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Communication Studies
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Mechar, Kyle William
Pagination:378 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (Ph.D.)
Program:Communication Studies
Date:2000
Thesis Supervisor(s):Nadeau, Chantal
ID Code:1162
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:17
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:19
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