Queer family in human rights discourse: the politics of relationality

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Hart, Linda Tuulia
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How can recognition of family ties established by gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual people be translated into the language of human rights? This thesis provides a ‘queered’ anthropological critique of the notions of family and family life in European human rights discourse by looking at relevant case law from the European Court of Human Rights. I treat cases from the European Court as legal narratives which provide ethnographic evidence of the articulation of norms of inclusion and exclusion pertaining to family life in European human rights discourse. The analysis of the case material is grouped around three themes: implications of the notions of sex, gender and sexuality in legal discourse in relation to family formation, Foucauldian perspectives into the role of experts and expert knowledge in the articulation of these human rights norms and ‘the best interest of the child’. The aim is to offer an anthropologically informed critique of the notion of ‘family’ in European human rights discourse, taking feminist/queer anthropological theory and Foucauldian perspectives as the conceptual framework in the examination of how the legitimacy and illegitimacy of different family forms is produced in relation to international law
Second semester University: University of Copenhagen.
European Court of Human Rights, family, gender identity, homosexuality, human rights, sexual orientation