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Queer studies
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Queer studies

The term "Queer studies" refers to studies of issues relating to sexual orientation and gender identity. There are a growing number of college courses in this area, and at least five institutions in the United States offer an undergraduate major.

Scholars in this field generally believe that LGBT people (and according to some, those who practice other non-normative sexual practices) constitute a class of "The Other" subject to physical and intellectual repression and work to empower this class of people to make changes to the society and culture in which they live. A major emphasis in Queer studies is the integration of theory and practice, with many programs encouraging community service work, community involvement, and activist work in addition to academic reading and research.

The field embraces the academic study of issues raised in literary theory, political science, history, sociology, ethics, and other fields by an examination of the identity, lives, history, and perception of queer people.

Some primary scholars in Queer studies include Michel Foucault, Judith Butler, Audre Lorde, John Boswell, and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick.

Techniques in Queer studies include the search for Queer influences and themes in works of literature; the analysis of political currents linking the oppression of women, racialized groups, and disadvantaged classes with that of queer people; and the search for Queer figures and trends in history that queer studies scholars believe have been ignored and excluded from the canon.

Queer studies are not to be confused with Queer theory, an analytical viewpoint within Queer studies that is concentrated within the humanities - particularly the fields of Literary Studies and Philosophy

See also: group-entity, gender studies

External links: University Queer Programs