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Flirting with the Islamic state: queer childhood with a touch of contemporary sexual politics

Breslow, Jacob ORCID: 0000-0001-8643-9804 (2020) Flirting with the Islamic state: queer childhood with a touch of contemporary sexual politics. Comparative American Studies, 17 (1). 73 - 86. ISSN 1477-5700

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Identification Number: 10.1080/14775700.2020.1720411


This article interrogates how queerness, as signified by the queer child, operates in a contemporary US culture jointly defined by homonationalism and #MeToo. Using the queer child as its fulcrum, it argues that part of what sustains the pervasive failure to hold privileged individuals accountable for their sexual abuses is an exceptionalist discourse which only locates childhood desire, and child abuse, elsewhere. It establishes this by analysing a 2015 article and documentary by the New York Times about a young American woman, represented as a child, who was radicalised by the flirtatious seduction of online recruiters from Daesh. The analysis undertakes a queer reading of the flirtations and touches within the documentary, attending to its visualisations of seduction, embrace, and desire. Unpacking the sexual touch of the racialised discourses of so-called grooming, it opens up new ways of understanding the relationship between childhood sexuality, sexual abuse, and contemporary sexual politics.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
Divisions: Gender Studies
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2020 10:33
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 02:58

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