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Heteronormativity in Practice: Marginalization and Inequity in the Law and Public Sector

28th February 2018 @ 10:00 - 15:00

Gender Research Group, University of Exeter – Inaugural Workshop

Building upon the vast literature exploring the social construction of gender,
scholarship is increasingly highlighting heterosexuality as the coherent and privileged
frame in legal and political venues. As a result, homosexuality not only continues to
be marginalized as an identity in these spheres, but the administration and delivery of
a host of policy sectors including the criminal justice system, healthcare and education
proliferate an inequitable approach. Work has thus far been undertaken to promote
critical reflection across service providers, but this has yet to be fully articulated and
adopted and the LGBT community remains a vulnerable and target population in this

To what extent do these traditional norms and values continue to pervade legal
discourse? Is it really a dominant theme in the courtroom? Do service providers and
street level bureaucrats continue to sub-consciously acquiesce to such cultural codes?
The interdisciplinary ‘Gender Research Group’ at the University of Exeter wishes to
bring together academics to explore these pertinent and timely questions in a one
day workshop. The event will consist of two panels structured around the themes
below; abstracts addressing the legal-political nexus, in particular, are welcomed:

• Theme 1: Legal Discourse
Customary modes of understanding national and international law reflect
heteronormative conventions and can have an exacting influence in the courtroom.
Research examining the language of the law and the administration of justice
through such lenses is invited.

• Theme 2: Public Sector Implementation
In addition to legal discourse, the function of the public sector as implementation
these core statutory provisions can exasperate such narratives through the
interpretation of heteronormativity. Empirically this can result in difficulties of access
and experiences of marginalization for the LGBT population. Papers examining
these trends are welcome.

The deadline for paper proposals is Monday 8th January 2018. Abstracts
should be no longer than 500 words, and submitted to Sarah Cooper


28th February 2018
10:00 - 15:00
Event Category:

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