Kvinders smag for mænd, mænds smag for kvinder: heteroseksualitet som smagsfællesskab

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  • Morten Emmerik Wøldike

Heterosexuality has been largely untheorised within both sociology, feminism and gay and lesbian studies, which have traditionally been focusing on hierarchical dichotomies between men and women, heterosexuality and homosexuality. As the most prominent tales of heterosexuality (of) today, post-structuralism and queer theory have contributed fruitfully to the denaturalisation of heterosexuality, but have also gained a monopoly of telling stories which are neither necessarily productive in terms of the scientific integrity nor no longer helpful for people in general. The article puts forward a critique of these scientific tales, among others the works of Judith Butler, as contributing to a rather monolithic conceptualisation focusing on heterosexuality as only a ‘discourse', an ‘institution', an ‘identity' or a ‘norm'. Moreover, by constructing a new binary between ‘queer' and ‘normal', queer theory fails to transgress the logics and concepts of dichotomies and identity. The article argues that people in late modern Denmark no longer in fact does strictly conform to a heterosexual norm and therefore, alternatively, suggests a tale of heterosexuality as ‘a tribe or community of taste' in late modern Denmark inspired by the sociologists Michel Maffesoli and Henning Bech, addressing perspectives and categories such as lust, taste, aestetics, sociality, sensation and emotions. This new tale is not intended to replace post-structuralism or queer theory, but as both an adequate and a very productive qualified tale, it should be supplementary in respect of the fact that heterosexuality is a multifarious phenomenon which must be studied from various angles in different contexts.   

Translated title of the contributionHeterosexuality as a tribe of taste:: A new tale of heterosexuality in late modern Denmark
Original languageDanish
JournalKvinder, Køn og Forskning
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)9-20
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2007

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