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Challenging homophobic bullying in schools: the politics of progress

  • Daniel Monk (a1)
Abstract
Abstract

In recent years homophobic bullying has received increased attention from NGOs, academics and government sources and concern about the issue crosses traditional moral and political divisions. This article examines this ‘progressive’ development and identifies the ‘conditions of possibility’ that have enabled the issue to become a harm that can be spoken of. In doing so it questions whether the readiness to speak about the issue represents the opposite to prohibitions on speech (such as the notorious Section 28) or whether it is based on more subtle forms of governance. It argues that homophobic bullying is heard through three key discourses (‘child abuse’, ‘the child victim’ and ‘the tragic gay’) and that, while enabling an acknowledgement of certain harms, they simultaneously silence other needs and experiences. It then moves to explore the aspirational and ‘liberatory’ political investments that underlie these seemingly ‘common-sense’ descriptive discourses and concludes with a critique of the quasi-criminal responses that the dominant political agenda of homophobic bullying gives rise to. The article draws on, and endeavours to develop a conversation between, critical engagements with the contemporary politics of both childhood and sexuality.

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D.Monk@bbk.ac.uk
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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Jane Fortin (2009) Children's Rights and the Developing Law, 3rd edn.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Valerie Harwood (2004) ‘Taking Foucauldian Genealogies to Narratives of Youth Oppression’ in Mary L. Rasmussen , Eric Rofes and Susan Talburt (eds), Youth and Sexualities: Pleasure, Subversion, and Insubordination In and Out of Schools. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 85107.

J. G. Murphy and J Hampton . (1988) Forgiveness and Mercy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Carl Parsons (1999) Education, Exclusion and Citizenship. London: Routledge.

Nigel Parton (1985) The Politics of Child Abuse. Basingstoke: Macmillan.

Susan Talburt (2004) ‘Intelligibility and Narrating Queer Youth’ in Mary L. Rasmussen , Eric Rofes and Susan Talburt (eds), Youth and Sexualities: Pleasure, Subversion, and Insubordination In and Out of Schools. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 1739.

Matthew Waites (2005) The Age of Consent: Young People, Sexuality and Citizenship. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.

Jeffrey Weeks (1985) Sexuality and its Discontents: Meanings, Myths and Modern Sexualities. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

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International Journal of Law in Context
  • ISSN: 1744-5523
  • EISSN: 1744-5531
  • URL: /core/journals/international-journal-of-law-in-context
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