Opposites Attract: Retheorizing Binaries in Language, Gender, and Sexuality

Jennifer L Davis, Lal Zimman, Joshua Raclaw

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The editors’ introduction to Queer Excursions identifies the volume’s contribution toward a retheorization of the binary as an analytic structure in language, gender, and sexuality studies. In addition to joining the substantial body of literature that rejects uncritical impositions of divisions like female/male and gay/straight in ways that erase the complexity of social—and especially queer—subjectivity, the volume also identifies some of the ways that dualities of this sort might be usefully reconceptualized to better reflect speakers’ social worlds. Based on the contributions to this book, the editors identify some of the ways binaries might be differently conceptualized across contexts and communities – for instance, as dualities that may or may not be oppositional, mutually exclusive, or static positionalities. From this vantage point, engagement with the everyday concerns of language users offers the best possibility for the careful implementation of binaries based on the sociocultural context in which they exist.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationQueer Excursions
Subtitle of host publicationRetheorizing Binaries in Language, Gender, and Sexuality
EditorsLal Zimman, Jenny Davis, Joshua Raclaw
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780199937318
StatePublished - Aug 2014

Publication series

NameStudies in Language and Gender


  • binaries
  • duality
  • language, gender, and sexuality
  • queer linguistics


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