9th Conference European Sociological Association

RN23 Sexuality

2009-09-05 11:00:00 2009-09-05 12:30:00 Saturday, 5 September 11:00 - 12:30 Theory, Discourse and Sexuality Building I, 1E8

"The good life and the good society": queering Strauss and integrating theorizing in the politics of sexualities

In this paper I argue that the "politics of sexualities" can be characterised as a series of ruptures, fragmentations and discontinuities. Aspects of these dislocations can be illustrated in some of the key analytical themes and theoretical foundations of sexuality politics. These include the relationships between sexualities and feminisms; issues focused around identities, rights and citizenship; political axes such as the public/private binary, as well as the relationships between well-established and robustly embedded academic discourses around the theory and politics of sexuality and the lived realities of those individuals and identities that are the focus of such activities, namely gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, transsexual and transgender individuals and "communities". These fragmented fields of sexualities politics are intimately intertwined with social and cultural structures and relations of power and inequalities, whether there are theoretical foci on performativities, subjugated knowledges and identities or governmentality and renarrations.

In 1954/1955 Leo Strauss presented the Judah L. Magnes Lectures at the Hebrew University in Jersusalem and later published these as "What is Political Philosophy?" (Strauss, 1959), a seminal piece that explores and interrogates the nature and meaning of political philosophy and its meaningful character. This paper argues that Strauss? imaging of political philosophy as a dynamic process and enterprise with dreams of the good life and the good society as a guiding ethic, can offer a philosophically useful model for integrating the shimmering patterns of rainbows represented in the diverse range of critical practices, priorities and dimensions of the politics of sexualities.