Between HIV prevention and lgbt rights: an ethnographic study of queer political activism in Accra, Ghana

Gore, Ellie R. (2017). Between HIV prevention and lgbt rights: an ethnographic study of queer political activism in Accra, Ghana. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis examines the character of queer political activism in Accra, Ghana. It asks what are the key modes of organising, types of action, and political practices that characterise queer activism in this setting. It further considers how ‘universalist’ models of LGBT rights connect (and disconnect) with local forms of queer politics and explores the lived experience of working class queer men, or sasoi. Methodologically, the study is based on thirteen months of ethnographic research. Theoretically, it draws on Foucault’s work on subjectivity, Deleuzean theorising on becoming, and Gramsci’s concept of cultural hegemony. The thesis begins by examining the subjective, linguistic, and embodied practices of saso activists. Here, it invokes Deleuze to conceptualise these as ‘becomings’, that is, as productive and emergent practices of difference. The study then looks at the politics of the LGBT rights CBO, CEPEHRG, delimiting how the political economy of development, heteronormativity, and homophobia mediate their work. Finally, the thesis sets out the political practices of saso community networks and considers how activists experience peer education programmes predicated on voluntarism. This analysis reveals a dislocation between the agendas and modes of operation of global development actors and the needs and priorities of working class sasoi.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: Department of International Development
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races


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