A Sexualities Turn Towards Urban Informality
Keywords:urban informality, sexuality, southern urbanism, urban South, sub-Saharan Africa
In this article, I set forth the case as to why scholarship on sexuality may wish to engage more directly with scholarship on urban informality especially as it relates to the urban South. Sexualities scholarship has long acknowledged an imbalance in the types of location researched, with the majority of studies having taken place in sites of relative privilege in the Global North. However, there has yet to be a sustained consideration as to the ways in which the particularities of the urban South – such as widespread urban informality – may offer important opportunities for sexualities scholars to engage more directly with locations beyond the Global North. In relation specifically to examples drawn from sub-Saharan Africa, in this article, I explore first the informal economic sector and examine the possibilities of considering the ways in which non-heteronormative sexualities may form a key but so far under-researched part of this sector. I then examine the ways in which scholarship can consider the particular strategic and pragmatic ways by which non-heteronormative groups and communities may be navigating informal built environments, not only to survive but also to potentially thrive.
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