Axis 7 - Sexualities, Heteronormativity and LGBT

A great amount of recent work concerns the ways in which sexualities, in their many forms, produce and subvert, configure or reconfigure, produce and dismantle genders and identities. The relationship between sexualities and genders and their organisation into power apparatuses has been the object of much empirical, historical and literary research, in addition to theoretical and philosophical studies. These works have addressed the particular questions articulated by the vast field of LGBT studies, which emerged, at the beginning of the 1990s, as an autonomous area of research and a means of investigating and contributing to all other fields.

This research has developed especially around new forms of family life or, more generally, the different forms of familial, affective, relational and kinship arrangements. The possibilities opened up by new reproductive technologies have led to the questioning of assignation of parentage based on the (biological or symbolic) difference between the sexes or on gender binarism. The multiple forms of relational and family arrangements, which go beyond the binaries of straight/same-sex parenthood, mean that we must distinguish between sexual orientation, gender orientation and modes of kinship.

Several research axes have been developed along these lines: the body as a socially produced object of politics; as the focus of demands for legibility, whether it is vis-à-vis the law or within public space (especially the questions around transgender bodies).
The discursive framework have also been subject to analysis, in this case looking at the ways in which discursive categories around gender and sexuality define, assign, distribute, order and regulate, etc. and hence underpin, organise and even constitute the institutions that rule and perpetuate the sexual order.
Research which has emerged in the context of an articulation between gender and sexualities has also concerned the area of law, i.e. of the relationships between social and cultural innovations and the legal transformations that result from popular mobilisations and activism. This also includes the entire question of education, whether in terms of thinking about parental roles or about the roles and functions of the school system; using both empirical studies and discourse analyses, which clash over the need to either preserve and defend the existing "reference points”, or reinforce and advocate for the transformations currently under way.