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Discursive framings of ‘crisis’ and ‘exceptionality’ have commonly attached to the politics of austerity and neoliberalisation that characterised the 2010s in Britain. While many have noted the depoliticising effects of such a politics, the role played by sexuality, intimacy and gender in these framings has received less attention.

In this talk, Dr Aura Lehtonen will share from her recent book, The Sexual Logics of Neoliberalism in Britain: Sexual Politics in Exceptional Times (Routledge), which takes up the question of the relationship between sexuality and politics in Britain’s recent political past. She examines the sexual logics and meanings embedded in the dominant political narratives, discourses and policies of the decade, exploring case studies from welfare and housing policy, media representation, and protest narratives. In contrast to the notion that sexual and other forms of ‘identity politics’ are separate from questions of economic distribution and justice, here Dr Lehtonen argues that sexual meanings are key to understanding how the ongoing processes of neoliberalisation, welfare retrenchment and privatisation are justified. 

Speaker: Dr Aura Lehtonen

Dr Aura Lehtonen is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Greenwich. Her research explores how difference, diversity and inequalities are understood, conceptualised and represented in contemporary culture and politics, with a specific focus on sexuality. Her work has been published in Feminist Media Studies, Feminist Review, and Sociological Research Online, and she is on the Editorial Board of the journal MAI: Feminism & Visual Culture

This event was part of the CPPR Lunchtime Seminar series.