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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'Aid for gays': the moral and the material in 'African homophobia' in post-2009 Malawi
Author:Biruk, Crystal
Year:2014
Periodical:Journal of Modern African Studies (ISSN 0022-278X)
Volume:52
Issue:3
Pages:447-473
Language:English
Geographic term:Malawi
Subjects:homosexuality
gender discrimination
economic recession
2011
public opinion
AIDS
Abstract:In recent years, 'African homophobia' has become a spectacle on the global stage, making Africa into a pre-modern site of anti-gay sentiment in need of Western intervention. This article suggests that 'homophobia' in post-2009 Malawi is an idiom through which multiple actors negotiate anxieties around governance and moral and economic dependency. The author illustrates the material conditions that brought about social imaginaries of inclusion and exclusion - partially expressed through homophobic discourse - in Malawi. The article analyses the cascade of events that led to a moment of political and economic crisis in mid-2011, with special focus on how a 2009 sodomy case made homophobia available as a new genre of social commentary. Employing discourse analysis of newspaper articles, political speeches, the proceedings of a sodomy case, and discussions about men who have sex with men (MSM) as an HIV risk group, the author shows how African homophobia takes form via interested deployments of 'cultural' rhetoric toward competing ends. This article lends a comparative case study to a growing literature on the political and social functions of homophobia in sub-Saharan Africa. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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