Dissertation thesis, date of defense: 2015 September, 10.

Abstract:

Geographies of sexualities started to develop within the Anglo-American academic context during the late 1980s. In the 1990s, propelled by the cultural turn, the swelling of post-structuralist and postmodern critiques, and a growing recognition of the limitations to scientific knowledge production and representation, geographers of sexualities introduced queer theory into human geography. Queer theory provided human geography with powerful tools for approaching not only straightforward spatialities of sexualities, but this new lens contributed to the development of human geographies as such. Currently, at least in the Anglo-Saxon geographical context, the field of geographies of sexualities is considered part of mainstream human geography. Therefore, the main goal of this thesis is to provide a few lines of reasoning for the development of geographies of sexualities in Czechia and Central Eastern Europe (CEE) and introduction of post-structuralist understandings, specifically queer theory.

In contrast to other phenomena that may be locally exclusive or particular, human sexualities are everyplace, albeit quite variable and dependent on the context in which they “enter into language,” become institutionalized, and are regulated. Geographers have been specifically insightful about the ways in which sexualities, particularly the sexual identities and behaviors, are geographical and how various spaces and places become sexualized. Post-structuralist and queer geographical approaches substantiated in this thesis are thus utilized for gaining understanding about the spatiality and contextuality of human (sexual) subject (de)construction, which is heavily dependent on understanding the workings of power, discourse, and meaning. The societal (re)production, (re)construction, and deconstruction of heteronormativity as a prominent form of constitutive power-relation, which is involved in the regulation of human sexualities, becomes a focal point of this thesis.

By employing quantitative methodologies within a queer research project on hard-to-survey populations, I aim to queer the normative methodological framework and contribute to the use of quantitative methods outside of their traditional representative uses. Both micro- and macro-scale studies were conducted to examine and provide evidence about the spatial workings of heteronormativity. At the micro scale, a fluidity, multiplicity and contextuality of human sexual identity negotiation in various spaces and places will be demonstrated with data obtained from a Czech non-heterosexual subpopulation. At the macro scale, inductive statistics and interpretative analysis are utilized for understanding the economic, cultural and social factors influencing the very fabric of distribution patterns and forms of gay businesses and places in the EU27, Norway and Switzerland.

Keywords:

geographies of sexualities, heteronormativity, queer theory, sexuality, non-heterosexuals, Czechia, CEE, post-structuralism, postmodernism, cultural turn, linguistic turn

Link:

https://dspace.cuni.cz/handle/20.500.11956/79706?locale-attribute=en