'That's not really my scene': working-class lesbians in (and out of) place

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Abstract

In this article I consider working-class lesbians' views and experiences of commercialized scene space as these venues change in light of social, economic and political developments. Working-class lesbians both participated in and felt excluded from scene spaces, often criticizing them as 'pretentious' and 'unreal' for their cosmopolitan gloss. In this upgrading a politicized perspective was believed to have been sacrificed or in jeopardy, threatened by gendered and classed consumer-based expectations and inhabitations. The reproduction of such space via regeneration and sophistication mediates the construction of lesbian styles, appearances and identities, demarcating boundaries of inclusion across time and place. Interviewees spoke of scene developments and changes with a sense of loss, even nostalgia; their descriptions frequently conjured up binaries of now/then, political/apolitical, marginal/mainstream, metropolitan/provincial - producing an uneasy situation in and out of place. Such positionings illustrate material, embodied and felt exclusions, and tenuous inclusions, as this space is negotiated, contested and rejected.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)523-546
Number of pages24
JournalSexualities
Volume11
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2008

Keywords

  • class
  • inclusion/exclusion
  • lesbian
  • scene spaces

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