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The Interplay between Hatred and Political Correctness: the Privatisation of Homosexuality in Slovenia

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image of Southeastern Europe

Ana Hofman, Guest Editor

The article deals with the question of homophobia in Slovenia, focusing on the process of the privatisation of homosexuality. Taking three homophobic incidents that took place in Slovenia in three different time periods (the end of the 1980s, the mid-1990s and the beginning of the new millennium) as examples, the authors strive to illustrate how tolerance towards homosexuals in Slovenia is conditioned by their public non-recognition. The privatisation of homosexuality is seen as a social and political (neo-liberal) context in which homosexuality is understood to be the private matter of a citizen. As such, privatisation goes hand in hand with the process of “othering,” leaving the heteronormative structure of society intact. For that reason, homophobia in Slovenian society can be best explained by the concept of a public “transparent closet.” The authors conclude that the tolerance towards homosexuality in Slovenia is a fictitious one, as it functions only on the surface (in public opinion polls and, increasingly, in the positive media representations of homosexuality), while in the reality of everyday life it turns into more or less visible forms of violent discipline over gays and lesbians.

Affiliations: 1: a) Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Researcher at the Peace Institute, Ljubljana; 2: b) Associate Professor of Sociology, at the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Sciences


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