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Negotiating in/visibility: the political economy of lesbian activism and rights advocacy

Hildebrandt, Timothy and Chua, Lynette J. (2017) Negotiating in/visibility: the political economy of lesbian activism and rights advocacy. Development and Change, 48 (4). pp. 639-662. ISSN 0012-155X

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Identification Number: 10.1111/dech.12314

Abstract

Efforts to address HIV/AIDS have brought new opportunities and resources to LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) activism in many parts of the developing world. But increased attention in terms of both political opportunities and economic resources is uneven across the diverse population of LGBT peoples and activists. Lesbian activists have reaped far fewer benefits than their gay men counterparts. Building on existing approaches to movement visibility and invisibility, we posit a ‘political economy of in/visibility’ to analyse lesbian activism in China and Myanmar, where activists face particularly restrictive political and economic conditions. Rather than focus on visibility as a movement pre-condition, objective, or strategy, we examine the sources of in/visibility and their interactions with activists’ agency; in/visibility emerges from political and economic conditions, but is continuously reshaped by activists who negotiate them. We demonstrate that, despite challenges, lesbian activists respond in ways that help advance LGBT rights advocacy broadly, sometimes even with tactics that their more visible gay counterparts avoid. These interactions subsequently influence the conditions that shape in/visibility. Investigating the political economy of in/visibility, therefore, has significant implications for understanding not only lesbian activism, but also LGBT advocacy and collective mobilization, especially under politically and economically restrictive conditions.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(IS...
Additional Information: © 2017 International Institute of Social Studies
Divisions: Social Policy
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DS Asia
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Sets: Departments > Social Policy
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2016 13:20
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2019 20:40
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/68569

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