Queer Migrants in Sweden: Subjectivities and Spatiotemporal Multiplicities
Sammanfattning: Departing from the field of queer migration, the aim of the thesis is to grasp the experience of queer migrants in Sweden. Inspired by Les Back’s notion of sociology as an art of listening that engages critically with research participants, and guided by feminist sociologists’ methodological contributions, the study is carried out through in-depth interviews with twelve queer migrants from different countries of origin. Through a theoretical dialogue between political philosopher Judith Butler and sociologist Stuart Hall which is in turn located in relation to sociologist Immanuel Wallerstein’s critique of European universalism and cultural geographer Doreen Massey’s call for recognising modernity’s spatiotemporal multiplicities, the study examines how identities are handled and subject positions are occupied by the interviewees in relation to racial and sexual societal structures. The thesis tentatively argues that in the accounts of the interviewed queer migrants, racial structures give rise to a more dyadic organisation of subject positioning, whereas sexual structures make possible a wider range of subject positions. It is further argued that while identities related to cultural belonging are restrained by racist representations of the cultural background of the interviewees, the fluidity of identities related to sexuality has partially been made possible by the relative success of the LGBTQ-struggle in Sweden during the past decades. Moreover, it is argued that the intersection of these types of identities indicates an unequal relationship between “race”/ethnicity and sexuality that is structured by binary notions of Western and non-Western sexualities. Finally, the thesis suggests that recognition of queer migrants’ heterogeneity in relation to sexual identities undermines - in the realm of sexuality - the dyadic representation of the West and the rest of the world, which historically has been inherent to modernity.
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