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Chris Ashford, Alexander Maine and Giuseppe Zago

This chapter, drawing upon the work of Hocquenghem, explores some of the ways that the State seeks to impose normalcy. Taking as its focus relationship recognition and prisons, and drawing upon empirical and theoretical work, the chapter notes the ways in which both of these State institutions continue to support an essentialist heteronormative interpretation of normalcy, with the hyperregulated space of prison offering further insight into how relationships are understood by the State in a ‘total control’ environment. The chapter argues for a radical rethinking of how we understand the operation of state normalcy and the institutions we seek to challenge, subvert and queer.