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Sexuality and nationality: homophobic discourse and the 'national threat' in contemporary Latvia

Mole, R.C.M.; (2010) Sexuality and nationality: homophobic discourse and the 'national threat' in contemporary Latvia. (Centre for European Politics, Security and Integration (CESPSI): Working Papers 2). Centre for European Politics, Security and Integration (CEPSI), SSEES, UCL: London, UK. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper considers why attitudes towards gays and lesbians in Latvia appear to be more intolerant than in all other EU member states. The paper argues that while the legacy of communist discourses on homosexuality and the impact of post-communist transition have played a role in shaping attitudes towards sexuality and sexual minorities in Central and Eastern Europe, these factors cannot sufficiently explain the divergence among post-communist states and, in particular, do not account for Latvia’s extreme position. While acknowledging that intolerance towards non-heteronormative sexualities cannot be explained by a single factor, the paper argues that homosexuality has become particularly reviled in Latvia because it has been widely discursively constructed as a threat to the continued existence of the nation.

Type:Working / discussion paper
Title:Sexuality and nationality: homophobic discourse and the 'national threat' in contemporary Latvia
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version:http://www.ssees.ucl.ac.uk/cepsipapers.htm
Language:English
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > SSEES

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