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A queer politics of emotion: reimagining sexualities and schooling

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-09-30, 14:58 authored by Aoife NearyAoife Neary, BREDA GRAY, MARY O'SULLIVANMARY O'SULLIVAN
This paper draws together Hochschild’s (1979; 1983) concepts of emotional labour and feeling rules with Ahmed’s affective economies (2004a, 2004b; 2008; 2010) and queer phenomenology (2006a, 2006b) as a way to address wider questions about sexuality and schooling. It highlights the value of the everyday politics of emotion for elucidating and clarifying the specificities, pertinence and complementarities of Hochschild’s and Ahmed’s work for reimagining the relationship between sexualities and schooling. The combination of their approaches allows for a focus on the individual, bodily management of emotions while demonstrating the connectedness of bodies and spaces. It enables disruption of ‘inclusive’ and ‘progressive’ educational approaches that leave heterosexuality uninterrupted and provides insight into how power works in and across the bodies, discourses, practices, relations and spaces of schools to maintain a collective orientation towards heterosexuality. It also counters linear narratives of progressive change, elucidating how change is a hopeful but messy process of simultaneous constraint, transgression and transformation. Key moments from a three-year study with LGBT-Q teachers entering into civil partnerships (CP) in Ireland serve as exploratory examples of the theoretical ideas put forward in this paper.



Gender and Education;28 (2), pp. 250-265


Taylor and Francis




This is an Author's Original Manuscript of an article whose final and definitive form, the Version of Record, has been published in Gender and Education 2016 copyright Taylor & Francis, available online at:



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