The thesis proposal…

So, a few weeks ago, I wrote some things down about what I want my thesis to look like, and what direction I want it to take. It’s after the jump.

1. What does it mean to “queer” class?
a. starting from the queer project’s objective of deconstructing classification schemes, it means problematizing categories of class and considering their deconstructed positions
b. But, 1a is problematic because what happens to class[ed] identities and class[ed] politics when categories are deconstructed?
c. and, if the queer project aims to end identity politics as usual in favor of unstable self-identifications (i.e. fluidity, etc.), then can there be class[ed] identities/politics at all?
d. Following this, what does an unstable, shifting class dynamic look like?
e. contextualizing class and contextualizing the categorization of class

2. What does it mean to “class” queer?
a. This will always depend on the social position of the queer subject – making the class[ed] queer an unstable subjective positionality.
b. it also means using queer objectives and class struggles to critique the current gay and lesbian rights movement.
c. it also means using class to critique the current trends and aims of queer theory as ignorant of class and its attending problematics
d. it must also mean re-envisioning queer theory to encompass the realities of a classed society in which queer subjects and queer subject positions exist.

3. Where do class[ed] and queer identities intersect?
a. how might these inform and shape each other?
b. dichotomies: queer v. gay, queer v. lesbian, queer v. LGBT – and should there be wars between them?
c. how important are classifications based on sexual identities and is this importance somehow class-related?

4. Needs to focus pretty heavily on the dysjunct between theory and lived experiences of LGBTQ individuals who may or may not identify as queer. I am committed to using sources that are not academic in nature, but are more important than academic sources in theorizing the lived queer experiences. Academic sources often (nay, always) ignore class, and when it is mentioned, it is only as a part of the epitaph “race, class, and gender,” thus queer theory remainds ignorant of the actual subject of class. Non-academic sources/writers on the other hand, often pay close attention to the intricacies of class and queer intersections and thus seem most appropriate for a critique of “queer as usual.”

I’ve gotten some interesting feedback from my committee. One who would have been much more interested in a qualitative research project than a theoretical undertaking suggests I focus on #2 and #4 above. i’m inclined to agree that this is the more interesting part of it all. Any thoughts/critiques? leave them in the comments below…


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