This essay considers the role of market economies in global queering, the transnational proliferation of new male homosexual and male-to-female transgender identities and cultures. Early accounts of global queering highlighted the culturally homogenizing effects of transnational capitalism, representing new queer sexualities beyond the West as cultural imports from the United States. But international similarities among queer cultures also emerge from parallel processes of sex-cultural change produced by national-level forms of capitalism. Case studies from Thai queer history trace market-induced cultural parallels to earlier decades of the twentieth century, before the post-Cold War intensification of globalizing processes. These studies confirm the importance of the market in global queering. They also reveal that international commonalities reflect emergent parallels among multiple queer modernities and result as much from local responses to similar economic conditions as from foreign cultural influences. The alternative narrative of queer histories beyond the West presented here decouples the spread of capitalism from cultural Westernization. It highlights moments where queer subjects have enhanced their autonomy vis-à-vis local heteronormative traditions by creative engagements that take advantage of opportunities provided by the growth of the market economy.
Research Article|June 01 2009
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Peter A. Jackson; Capitalism and Global Queering: National Markets, Parallels among Sexual Cultures, and Multiple Queer Modernities. GLQ 1 June 2009; 15 (3): 357–395. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10642684-2008-029
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