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Sexual DissidenceAugustine to Wilde, Freud to Foucault$
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Jonathan Dollimore

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780198112259

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198112259.001.0001

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Homophobia (2): Theories of Sexual Difference

Homophobia (2): Theories of Sexual Difference

(p.249) 17 Homophobia (2): Theories of Sexual Difference
Sexual Dissidence

Jonathan Dollimore

Oxford University Press

Several kinds of difference figure in contemporary cultural theory but two especially: sexual difference and cultural difference, with each of these complicated by a third kind of difference which construes meaning and identity in terms of difference or, more exactly, differential relations, the ‘semiotic difference’. The homosexual is significantly implicated in both sexual and cultural differences, and for two main reasons. First because he or she has been regarded as one who fears the difference of the ‘other’ or opposite sex. Secondly, contrary to what the foregoing theory implies, she or he has, in historical actuality, embraced both cultural difference and racial difference. This crossing constitutes a complex, difficult history, one from which we can learn. This chapter argues for the importance of this history for all three kinds of difference — sexual, cultural, and semiotic — as they figure in current theory.

Keywords:   sexual difference, cultural difference, semiotic difference, racial difference, identity, homosexual, homophobia

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