Research Handbook on Gender, Sexuality and the Law
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Research Handbook on Gender, Sexuality and the Law

Edited by Chris Ashford and Alexander Maine

This innovative and thought-provoking Research Handbook explores not only current debates in the area of gender, sexuality and the law but also points the way for future socio-legal research and scholarship. It presents wide-ranging insights and debates from across the globe, including Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Australia, with contributions from leading scholars and activists alongside exciting emergent voices.
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Chapter 29: Normative behaviour, moral boundaries and the state

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.

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