Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963992 | Print ISBN: 9781412906784 | Online ISBN: 9781412963992| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Queer theory functions as a mode of analysis, and it challenges normative ideologies, that is, taken-for-granted assumptions pertaining to sexuality and identity. It contends that identities are elastic and do not determine who people are because identity is not connected to fixed ideas or essences. Queer theory assumes that sexual identities are a result of representations; more than a marker of who people are, identity is a result of what they do—in effect, a performance. Queer theory is important in education because it questions received (predominant) notions of academic disciplinary knowledge, textual and cultural production and interpretation, identity, and difference, but it does not limit its focus to sexual issues. Identity is a critical and persistent question. Individuals discover their identity by sampling from those that society/culture presents as possibilities. Identity politics, which hinges on marginalized or racialized groups, stresses definition and essentialism even though this can create further marginalization. ...