Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412939584 | Print ISBN: 9780761930877 | Online ISBN: 9781412939584| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
James W. Koschoreck
An epistemological perspective that emerged in the 1990s as a poststructural constructivist critique of identity and sexual subjectivities, queer theory represents a philosophical framework that aids in the analysis of the modes in which power and desire are hegemonically enacted in social spaces in such a way that sexuality is normalized and differences are repressed. Queer theory has as one of its principal aims to disrupt both terms of the homo/hetero binary and to destabilize each of these categories and the relationships between them; that is to say, queer theory argues for the possibility that neither homosexual nor heterosexual are reliable and valid descriptors of identity. Queer theory's fundamental challenge to the notion of a foundational homosexual subject is based in part on the objection that an essentialized homosexual identity replicates the hetero/homo binarism that perpetuates the heteronormativity of society. To define queer remains an elusive task given its queer ...