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Title: The control and determination of gender and sexual identity in law
Author: Beresford, Sarah
ISNI:       0000 0001 3460 9699
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2000
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This thesis argues that the legal subject is unable to exercise control over their sexual and gender identity in law. In other words, I suggest that identity is controlled not by the individual, but by law. My focus is female gender and sexual identity with particular reference to lesbian sexual identity. I suggest that the legal 'meaning' given by law to the 'categories' of 'woman', 'mother' and 'lesbian' and so forth, are of central importance to law in its determination of 'identity'. I argue that this is a continuing process and takes place not only within the context of hetero-centric values, assumptions and norms, but also by the operational nature of 'distinct' epistemological fields within law. As a result, identity, is created by legal discourse, not the individual. I focus upon the ways in which female identity is represented within the contexts of 'the family and marriage'; child custody disputes; familial property disputes; visual rhetoric and biological determinism. I argue that lesbian identity within law continues to be rendered 'the other' and 'the invisible' due to the 'location' of lesbian identity in the network of heterosexual legal and social power relations.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Female gender