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Nationhood and Gay Marriage in Scandinavia

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Abstract:

The Scandinavian model for registered partnership for same-sex couples has been exported to more than a dozen other countries around the world. In what way do these laws reflect on a new sense of nationhood? Why did the Scandinavian countries create a separate category for its homosexual citizens, a fifth marital status? What consequences has it had for lesbians and gay men? How are homosexual citizens included in the modern nation?

The research project consists of three parts: 1) Prehistory of the law. How does the law on registered partnership relate to the Scandinavian Welfare State? What are the differences between Scandinavian countries in this respect – between Denmark, the first country to introduce the law, the Faeroe Islands that still refuse to adopt the law, and Greenland, where the law was enacted in 1996, but where only two couples have been registered so far? 2) The role of lesbians in the history of the registered partnership. How relevant was it to women during the 1970s and 1980s, when the law was prepared? Proportions between lesbians and gay men registering their partnership? 3) An analyze of gay marriage ‘s normative and emancipatory functions and its influence on the concept of family.

Drawing on Nancy Fraser’s idea of politics of recognition, I argue that gender equality and gay and lesbian rights are Scandinavia’ new symbolic export products. As social insurance systems collapse, reforms that cost nothing contribute to Scandinavian national pride. Also, Denmark’s liberal government condones gay marriage but opposes immigration.
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Name: American Historical Association
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MLA Citation:

Rydström, Jens. "Nationhood and Gay Marriage in Scandinavia" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Historical Association, <Not Available>. 2013-12-17 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p28490_index.html>

APA Citation:

Rydström, J. "Nationhood and Gay Marriage in Scandinavia" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Historical Association <Not Available>. 2013-12-17 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p28490_index.html

Publication Type: Poster
Abstract: The Scandinavian model for registered partnership for same-sex couples has been exported to more than a dozen other countries around the world. In what way do these laws reflect on a new sense of nationhood? Why did the Scandinavian countries create a separate category for its homosexual citizens, a fifth marital status? What consequences has it had for lesbians and gay men? How are homosexual citizens included in the modern nation?

The research project consists of three parts: 1) Prehistory of the law. How does the law on registered partnership relate to the Scandinavian Welfare State? What are the differences between Scandinavian countries in this respect – between Denmark, the first country to introduce the law, the Faeroe Islands that still refuse to adopt the law, and Greenland, where the law was enacted in 1996, but where only two couples have been registered so far? 2) The role of lesbians in the history of the registered partnership. How relevant was it to women during the 1970s and 1980s, when the law was prepared? Proportions between lesbians and gay men registering their partnership? 3) An analyze of gay marriage ‘s normative and emancipatory functions and its influence on the concept of family.

Drawing on Nancy Fraser’s idea of politics of recognition, I argue that gender equality and gay and lesbian rights are Scandinavia’ new symbolic export products. As social insurance systems collapse, reforms that cost nothing contribute to Scandinavian national pride. Also, Denmark’s liberal government condones gay marriage but opposes immigration.

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