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date: 09 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter highlights the role of the concept of normativity in language and sexuality studies. It is argued that normativity has played a central role in this field, even if as a largely undertheorized concept. The theoretical discussion of normativity is advanced by conceptualizing norms as discursive formations and by distinguishing prescriptive from descriptive norms as well as normative mechanisms on the social micro-level from those on the social macro-level. Central patterns that are involved in the discursive construction of various sexual normativity types are outlined, namely heteronormativity (i.e., the notion that a particular version of heterosexuality is natural or preferable), homonormativity (i.e., normative notions of how gay men and lesbian women are supposed to be), and other sexual normativities. The concluding section discusses potential agendas for language and sexuality scholars in terms of changes in sexual normativities.

Keywords: language and sexuality studies, normativity, discourse, heteronormativity, homonormativity, sexual normativities

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