Chapter 31

Globalization and Sexuality



This chapter provides an overview of the major issues and perspectives in the literature on globalization and sexuality. Like other difference, sexuality is an important but complicated mediator of globalization processes and effects. To begin with, the meaning of sexuality in the globalization literature is not fixed. In most of this literature, sexuality refers to homosexuality and other forms of sexual dissidence, but heterosexual and gender-related issues are the focus of some work. And, throughout, definitions of and distinctions between ‘sexuality’, ‘gender’ and ‘sex’ are fuzzy or absent. Adding to these complexities is that the most visible literature on globalization foregrounds heteronormative and masculinist narratives, leaving the sexually dissident and ‘the feminized’ in the shadows. This chapter, then, actually refocuses the analytical gaze, first, by briefly addressing perspectives through which the study of sexuality and globalization is obscured as well as advanced; and second, by examining in greater depth, major issues addressed in the globalization and sexuality literature. These are as follows: culture, identity and cosmopolitan ‘gayness’; travel and tourism; migration, production and commodification; nationalism, citizenship and nation-state conflict; communication connections – the virtual and the actual; and collective resistance and situated strategies.


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