Preliminary research on non-normative sexualities and gender identities in rural Croatia: deconstructing hegemonic sexualities and gender identities
(Center for research in ethnicity, citizenship and migration )
Nicole Butterfield (University of Szeged)
Paper short abstract:
This paper examines the discursive legacies we are left with today when researching rural non-normative sexualities and gender identities beyond the western progress-oriented identity categories through mapping ethnographic and popular culture imaginaries of cultural, gender, and class identities.
Paper long abstract:
This paper examines the discursive legacies that we are left with today when researching rural non-normative sexualities and gender identities beyond the western progress-oriented heterosexual/LGBTI systematizations through a mapping of both local and foreign ethnographic and popular culture imaginaries of the cultural, gender, and class identities in Croatia. While it has been argued that contemporary urban sexual and gender identities reflect global trends of identification, rural sexualities and gender identities are potentially more resistant to processes of "westernization" and less caught within transnational circulations of discourses of sexuality and gender. Following the claim that sexualities at the periphery and farther from centres of regulation and representation are "less stable" or potentially resistant to regimes of control (Phillips and Watt 2000), we will explore how rural non-normative sexualities and gender practices potentially evade the conceptual frameworks used in western and urban cultural spaces and discourses, shift the boundaries of normative and non-normative identities and perhaps offer contemporary scholars alternative insights into the lived experience of social spaces in the Balkans beyond the western heterosexual/LGBTI systematizations. Reflecting on the legacies of historical discourses on Croatian and regional cultural identities, which have appeared in a variety of texts ranging from foreign travellers' to local ethnographers' accounts of sexualities and gender practices in the Balkan region, we will examine how lived experiences of non-normative sexual/gender practices have been shaped by and are shaping understandings of rural space and contribute to and subvert discourses of "progress" and queer western, urban utopias.
Queer ethnographies of the 21st century: heritages, realities, and perspectives