The Cultural Politics of Female Sexuality in South Africa: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Cultural Politics of Female Sexuality in South Africa

1st Edition

By Henriette Gunkel


182 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

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Sexual identity has emerged into the national discourse of post-apartheid South Africa, bringing the subject of rights and the question of gender relations and cultural authenticity into the focus of the nation state’s politics. This book is a fascinating reflection on the effects of these discourses on non-normative modes of sexuality and intimacy and on the country more generally. While in 1996, South Africa became the first country in the world that explicitly incorporated lesbian and gay rights within a Bill of Rights, much of the country has continued to see homosexuality as un-African. Henriette Gunkel examines how colonialism and apartheid have historically shaped constructions of gender and sexuality and how these concepts have not only been re-introduced and shaped by understandings of homosexuality as un-African but also by the post-apartheid constitution and continued discourse within the nation.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. ‘Homosexuality is Un-African’: Unfolding the Colonial Legacy within Post-Apartheid Homophobia 2. Is Pink Really White in South Africa? Reflections on Discourses of Homosexuality in the Post/Apartheid State 3. Homosociality and the Technologies of Homophobia 4. ‘I Didn’t Think of It as Lesbian’: Mapping out Intimacy and Homo/Sociality 5. Aftermath

About the Author

Henriette Gunkel is post-doctoral Research Fellow at the Fort Hare Institute of Social and Economic Research, South Africa.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Gender and Society

The social sciences continue to be transformed and enriched by analysis which takes gender, and the ways in which gender and society interact, to be of vital, defining importance. This series is new and broadly based, and will publish high-level contributions from across the disciplines.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Africa / South / Republic of South Africa
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Civil Rights
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Feminism & Feminist Theory
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General