Accepted paper:

Nationalism, equality and neoliberal hegemony in France: from materialist anthropology's perspective

Authors:

Gianfranco Rebucini (EHESS/CNRS)

Paper short abstract:

From a materialist perspective, I will stress the fact that in nationalist and homonationalist rhetoric about sexual rights, equality far from being a mere abstract ideal, is in fact a hegemonic apparatus of the neoliberal capitalist society.

Paper long abstract:

The homonationalist policies of the gay and lesbian mainstream groups, of right wing political parties, or of the state in France, are often mistaken as the result of an instrumentalization of GLB demands for equal rights for racist or nationalist purposes. But this idea of misappropriation is essentially based on an abstract and unproblematic conception of equality. In this communication, I would suggest an analysis from a Gramscian and a materialist point of view. From an ethnographical perspective, I will stress the fact that equality far from being a mere abstract ideal, is in fact an hegemonic apparatus that is materialized both in civil society (eg. demands for sexual equality), in political society (eg. french rethoric discourses on equality) and in the economic world (eg. demands for gender parity in wages), dialectically constituted. The nationalist rethoric over sexual equal rights could therefore be analyzed not only as the result of a political identity or a cultural policy of inclusion in citizenship and in the body of the nation for homonormative subjects (Puar 2007), but as the result of a particular social and historical dynamics. If one knows, like Gramsci shows it to us, that hegemony is a historical process that takes place and is reproduced in the dialectical relationship between the economic world, (the material social relations), the politics, and the culture, we could analyze equality, and policies that claim for it, as a crucial element of a contemporary neoliberal hegemony's redefinition in the capitalist society.

panel P080
Same-sex sexualities and ethnic minorities in Europe (Network for the Anthropology of Gender and Sexuality and the European Network for Queer Anthropology)