The first reading is an article titled ‘Normal Homes’ written by Melissa Gregg and published in the ‘Journal of Media and Culture’ in the year 2007. The article focused on the queer and black Australians whom the author depicts as historically disadvantaged groups. In the article, the author suggests that activists for the two groups have to combine their efforts in addressing the issues that affect their respective communities (Cregg, para 3). To argue her case effectively, the author draws from the arguments presented by Laurent Berlant, who had developed a unique approach to the debates surrounding citizenship in the US. Berlant thought that “the intimacy of citizenship is something scarce and sacred, private and proper, and only for members of families” (as quoted in Cregg, para 4). Berlant also observed that the hetero-normative culture uses orthodox means in the promotion of change among the non-normative populations. The non-normative populations are usually denied any support that they need since they are regarded as incompetent in the moral sense.
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Cregg agrees to the sentiments put forward by Berlant and compares the scenario with the Australian case. In this respect, the author highlights the case of the indigenous population in Australia which she thinks reflects the arguments presented by Berlant (Cregg, para 5). The white Australians despised the lifestyle of the aborigines and did not regard homes belonging to the aborigines as worthy for inhabitation. The article also looks at the predicament of the little children and individuals practicing same-sex relationships. In general, the article presents different lives that exist in the same town; it indicates that people have different views of what is regarded as home, and it shows that intimacy often thrives beyond the conventional couple relationship.
Displaced subjectivities: the queer refuge body in law
The second article by Senthorun Raj entitled “Displaced subjectivities: the queer refuge body in law” focuses on the issue of sexuality and validation of asylum. Basing asylum claims on sexual orientation depends on the sensitivity of sexuality and fear related to persecution. Nevertheless, efforts to define these issues about asylum have been faced with numerous challenges. To vet refugees based on their sexuality is determined by the aspects of sexuality about persecution. It has been identified that emotions, desires, and feelings are made unclear due to various factors. These include the administrative method of verification that has a cultural perspective; a narrative process that produces a distorted, stereotypic, and over-emphasized legal trope in respect to gay and lesbian individuals seeking asylum (Raj, para 1).
In Australia, the focus has been on how subjectivity related to homosexuals has been viewed. It has been observed that Australia’s case is distinct especially when it comes to persecution in respect to public and private spaces. The article holds that though it is imperative to acknowledge the non-normative position of queer subjectivity within the various contexts, there is a limitation in respect to the definition of the home as an inhabitable place. There is a need to broaden the definition of asylum seekers to accommodate the needs of nonconventional asylum seekers. Queer asylum seekers for instance uniquely perceive persecution and sexuality. This is because they do not necessarily reject their home countries from where they are running away (Raj, para 32).
- Gregg, Melissa. “Normal Homes.” M/C Journal 10.4 (2007).
- Raj, Senthorun. ‘Displaced Subjectivities: The Queer Refugee Body in Law’, Dialogue 8(1) 2010.