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Hamzić, Vanja (2012) 'Unlearning Human Rights and False Grand Dichotomies: Indonesian Archipelagic Selves beyond Sexual/Gender Universality.' Jindal Global Law Review, 4 (1). pp. 71-85.

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This study presents a critical genealogical analysis of the narratives and politics of representation of various human subjectivities in Indonesia who transgress dominant universalising sexual and gender norms. It traces various streams of regulation, including those reliant on liberal legalistic discourse of human rights, whose extremities produce the stringent ‘heteronormative’ versus ‘homonormative’ poles – the two mutually reinforcing otherworlds bereft of the intrinsic complexity of sexual/gender experience across the country’s archipelagic selves. This tacit othering, inapt to account for numerous local identitary frictions, transitions and re-appropriations owed, inter alia, to distinct non-sexual and non-gender communitarian dynamics, continues to usher in an alien dichotomy of personhood, whose referential, idealised ‘self’ and juxtaposed ‘other’ are both violently simplified and tainted with heightened ideological overtones. Against a backdrop of these impoverished binaries, this study confronts the multiple difficulties that a researcher of such phenomena inevitably encounters, ranging from the perils of internationalised taxonomies, such as ‘LGBT’, to the paradigmatic strategy of silent disidentification employed by the local subjectivities as a peculiar form of resistance. It is posited that these complexities are perhaps best captured and exposed if numerous globalised a priori binaries (‘hetero’/‘homo’, ‘male’/‘female’, ‘East’/‘West’, etc.) and legalistic ‘panaceas’ (eg liberal discourse on human rights) are gradually unlearnt and disestablished in favour of locale-specific inquiries into collective and individual selves and their counter-hegemonic social stratagems. The Indonesian narratives of archipelagic personhood offer one such opportunity.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Indonesia, Grand Dichotomies, Disidentification, Polyversality, Archipelagic Selfhood, Gender, Sexuality, Self
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > School of Law
School Research Centres > Centre for Asian Legal Studies
Departments and Subunits > School of Law
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HX Socialism. Communism. Anarchism
K Law > KL Asia and Eurasia, Africa, Pacific Area, and Antarctica
ISSN: 09752498
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2013 15:47

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