Towards ‘queering’ gender within theology and development discourse

Motsau, Arnold (2015-03)

Thesis (MTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2015.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis reports on a study undertaken within Theology and Development with a focus on health and gender. Health, in this thesis, was not merely understood from a biomedical perspective, but defined in terms of the holistic wellbeing of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersex, Queer (LGBTIQ) persons with varying sexual orientations and gender identities. In the light of contextual phenomena such as the ‘corrective’ rape of gays and lesbians, the notion that homosexuality is considered to be ‘un-African’, and the churches’ response to homosexuality within South Africa, this study will attempt to utilise queer theory and queer theology ‘queery’ Gender and Development (GAD) scholars within Theology and Development. The current understanding of the GAD approach within Theology and Development discourse was argued to make use of the heterogendered binary and, as a result, is not inclusive of LGBTIQ identities as a discursive theme. Gender, in this thesis, is considered a socio-historical construct and it is argued that it expands across many cultures. This understanding of gender opens up a discussion on subjectivity and looks at how the subject is utilized within discursive practice. The thesis concurs with Feminist scholars who argue that language does not only communicate the link between one’s sex and one’s gender identity; but that it also constitutes that link. Michel Foucault’s framework of power and how it is used to regulate discourses together with Judith Butler’s work on performativity provide a valuable point of departure for queer theory and queer theology as the hermeneutical lenses utilised in this thesis. A brief literature survey is conducted concerning gendered subjectivities within development discourses within the social sciences. The historical movements of Women in Development (WID), Women and Development (WAD) and Gender and Development (GAD) were explored within development discourse with the purpose of highlighting some of the reasons for the historical inclusion of certain subjects and the exclusion of others within the discursive practice in particular. The most recent movement, GAD, is shown to have been critiqued for mainly utilizing ‘gender’ as a code word for ‘women’. There is a discursive shift within development discourses within the social sciences that has gone on to queery development discourses and advocate for the inclusion of sexual minorities as a discursive theme. Through agencies such as SIDA (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency), sexuality was highlighted to also have links within a multi perspectival understanding of poverty. Finally, a thematic networks analysis coupled with the lenses of queer theory and queer theology, were conducted on seven articles that could possibly be related to the emerging field of Theology and Development. The thesis argues that the current use of heterogendered binary as an “informant” of theologising on gender is indicative of the fact that some of the Theology and development articles that are analysed here have not yet made a discursive shift to include LGBTIQ persons as a discursive theme. Indecent theology is recommended for future research as a queer theological tool to incorporate epistemological considerations of those on the sexual margins and thereby confronting heterosexist theologising within Theology and Development.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis is 'n studie binne die vakgebied Teologie en Ontwikkeling met 'n fokus op gesondheid en gender. Gesondheid in hierdie tesis is nie slegs van 'n biomediese perspektief verstaan nie, maar word in hierdie geval gedefinieer in terme van die holistiese welstand van LGBTIQ persone met wisselende seksuele oriëntasies en gender identiteit. In die lig van kontekstuele verskynsels soos die "regstellende" verkragting van homoseksuele mans en vrouens, die idee dat homoseksualiteit beskou word as iets wat 'nie eie aan Afrika' is nie en die kerke se reaksie op homoseksualiteit in Suid-Afrika ,sal hierdie studie poog om queer teorie te benut en deur queer teologie Gender en Ontwikkeling (GAD) diskoers in Teologie en Ontwikkeling te 'queer'. Daar word aangevoer dat die huidige begrip van GAD binne die Teologie en Ontwikkeling diskoers gebruik maak van die heterogeslagtelike tweeledigheid en as 'n resultaat is dit nie inklusief van LGBTIQ identiteite as 'n diskursiewe tema nie. Gender word in hierdie tesis beskou as 'n sosio-historiese konstruk en daar word aangevoer dat dit oor baie kulture strek. Hierdie begrip van gender maak 'n bespreking oop oor subjektiwiteit en kyk na hoe die onderwerp binne diskursiewe praktyk gebruik word. Die tesis stem saam met feministiese vakkundiges, wat argumenteer dat taal nie net die skakel tussen 'n mens se geslag en 'n mens se gender identiteit kommunikeer nie; maar dat dit ook die skakel vorm. Michel Foucault se raamwerk van mag en hoe dit gebruik word om diskoerse te reguleer, saam met Judith Butler se werk op uitvoerbaarheid bied 'n waardevolle vertrekpunt vir queer teorie en queer teologie as die hermeneutiese lense wat gebruik word in hierdie tesis. 'n Kort literatuur opname word onderneem aangaande geslagtelike subjektiwiteite binne die ontwikkelingsdiskoerse binne die sosiale wetenskappe. Die historiese bewegings van Women in Development (WIN), Women and Development (WAD) en Gender and Development (GAD) is ondersoek binne die ontwikkelingsdiskoers met die doel om van die redes vir die insluiting van sekere identiteite en die uitsluiting van ander binne die diskursiewe praktyk in besonder uit te lig. Daar is aangedui hoe die mees onlangse beweging, GAD, gekritiseer is vir hoofsaaklike gebruikmaak van 'gender' as 'n kodewoord vir 'vroue'. Daar is 'n diskursiewe verskuiwing binne die ontwikkelingsdiskoerse binne die sosiale wetenskappe wat voortgegaan het om ontwikkeling diskoerse te queer en op te tree as kampvegter vir die insluiting van seksuele minderhede as 'n diskursiewe tema. Deur agentskappe soos SIDA (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency), is seksualiteit ook uitgelig as een van die skakels binne 'n multiperspektivale begrip van armoede. Ten slotte is 'n tematiese netwerk analise, tesame met die lense van queer teorie en queer teologie, uitgevoer op sewe artikels wat moontlik verband kan hou met/binne binne die ontluikende veld van Teologie en Ontwikkeling. Hierdie tesis argumenteer dat die huidige gebruik van die heterogeslagtelike tweeledigheid as 'n "informant" van teologisering oorgender, daarop dui dat die Teologie en die ontwikkelingsdiskoerse nog nie 'n diskursiewe verskuiwing gemaak het om LGBTIQ persone as 'n diskursiewe tema in te sluit nie. Onbehoorlike teologie word aanbeveel vir toekomstige navorsing as 'n queer teologiese instrument om epistemologiese oorwegings van diegene op die seksuele kantlyne te inkorporeer en sodoende, heteroseksuele teologisering binne die Teologie en Ontwikkeling te konfronteer.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/97112
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