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Margot Canaday: The Straight State

Margot Canaday: The Straight State

Sexuality and Citizenship in Twentieth-Century America. USA 2011, 277 pp., brochure, € 24.95
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The University Press Group
Unearthing new evidence from the National Archives, the author shows how the U.S. government came to systematically penalize homosexuals, giving rise to a regime of second-class citizenship that sexual minorities still live under today. She looks at three key arenas of government control - immigration, the military, and welfare - and demonstrates how federal enforcement of sexual norms emerged and grew in tandem with the rise of the modern bureaucratic state. Combining social, political, and legal history, the book explores how regulation transformed the regulated: in drawing boundaries around national citizenship, the state helped to define the very meaning of homosexuality in America. The author refines a standard account of the genesis of the state's hostility to homosexuality.
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