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Young women’s negotiations of heterosexual conventions: Theorizing Sexuality in Constructions of ‘the Feminist’

Christina Scharff has a new publication is Sociology 44(5): 827-842. The article draws on her Ph.D. research and explores young women’s constructions of ‘the feminist’. Amongst other things, the article is about haunting and sticky stereotypes. Read the abstract if you’d like to find out more:


Even though the normativity of heterosexuality has come into question in recent years, heterosexual norms continue to figure as a structuring principle in contemporary social life. Drawing on 40 qualitative interviews with a diverse group of young German and British women, this article analyses empirical research on feminist disidentification to show that heteronormativity plays a central role in young women’s negotiations of feminism. Numerous respondents established a link between feminism, unfemininity, man-hatred and lesbianism. By exploring constructions of ‘the feminist’, and by reconceptualizing the figure of ‘the feminist’ as a constitutive outside of heterosexual norms that haunts the interviews, this article foregrounds the importance of examining the dimension of sexuality in analyses of contemporary social phenomena.

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