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Nationalism as competing masculinities: Homophobia as a technology of othering for hetero- and homonationalism

Slootmaeckers, K. ORCID: 0000-0002-1189-5095 (2019). Nationalism as competing masculinities: Homophobia as a technology of othering for hetero- and homonationalism. Theory and Society, 48(2), pp. 239-265. doi: 10.1007/s11186-019-09346-4


How are masculinity and nationalism intertwined? This question has received scant theoretical attention, and existing theories tent to focus on their shared ideals and are embedded in a heteronormative, homophobic and patriarchal framework. Such views imply a static relationship between both phenomena, and are incompatible with the recent phenomenon of homonationalism and the incorporation of some homosexual bodies within the nation. Addressing this theoretical gap, this article develops a more holistic framework of the relationship between nationalism and masculinity. Drawing on relational sociology, it conceptualises nationalism as competing masculinities. It argues that the link between masculinities and nationalism is not found in their overlapping substantive ideals, but rather that the two phenomena are co-constructed through their overlapping Othering processes. The proposed theoretical framework does not only provide a more dynamic understanding of the link between masculinity and nationalism, but it also helps to overcomes the apparent duality between homonationalism and heteronationalism. It is shown that both phenomena are in fact two sides of the same coin, with the main difference between them being the location of homophobia as a technology of Othering within different type of Self/Other relations. Overall, the article provides an analytical tool that allows for the contextualisation and understanding of seemingly contradicting features of nationalism and its relationship to masculinity.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Publisher Keywords: Relational Sociology; Heteronationalism; Gender and Nationalism; Homonationalism; Sexuality; Sexual Nationalism
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
J Political Science
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > International Politics
SWORD Depositor:
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