CONSPICUOUS SEXUALITY: BOURDIEU’S AFFECTIVE PHENOMENOLOGY AND THE NORMATIVE ORIGINS OF HOMOPHOBIC VIOLENCE
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Through an elaboration Bourdieu I argue that the embodiment of heterosexist norms produces negative dispositions towards gay men and women. Though this position relates to the literature on homophobic violence in its critique of social structures that contribute to homophobia, analyzing dispositions as nonconscious, bodily effects differentiates Bourdieu's position. Here Bourdieu provides a means for theorizing how norms are reproduced on the surface on the body as looks, gestures, and feelings, and not in the unconsciousness or the deep-seated beliefs of individuals. The particular contribution that Bourdieu makes to the study of homophobia argues that homonegativity is transferred from “body to body, below the level of conscious control” (Bourdieu, 2000, 95), and not only through the verbal denunciations or the rational devaluation of sexual minorities. Below the present work engages several of Bourdieu's central concepts, namely habitus, doxa, and symbolic violence, and applies his theoretical perspective to homophobia and homophobic violence. This engagement is necessary as Bourdieu does not address homophobic violence in his writing. In applying Bourdieu in this manner this work contributes to the scholarship on Bourdieu as well as the study of homophobia and homophobic violence.