Analysing homophobia, xenophobia and sexual nationalisms in Africa: comparing quantitative attitudes data to reveal societal differences

Freude, L. and Waites, M. (2023) Analysing homophobia, xenophobia and sexual nationalisms in Africa: comparing quantitative attitudes data to reveal societal differences. Current Sociology, 71(1), pp. 173-195. (doi: 10.1177/00113921221078045)

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To problematise Western discourses of a homophobic Africa, there is a need to analyse evidence of homophobia and its interplay with other attitudes, in ways that explore contextual differences. Hence, this article offers an original sociological analysis of quantitative data on homophobia in African states, examining how this inter-relates with xenophobia. Social attitudes data are drawn from the Afrobarometer research project as a unique and important source, and compared in five diverse contexts: Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal and Zambia. Data are examined from Round 6 (2014–2015) and Round 7 (2016–2018). Findings are interpreted in light of specific national literatures on the relations between sexuality, gender and nationalism, as well as wider critical and postcolonial perspectives – especially conceptualisation of sexual nationalisms, and recent literatures on political homophobia. Whereas analyses of homonationalism in Western societies have explored alignments of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex rights affirmation with anti-immigrant attitudes, this study explores such relationships between homophobic and xenophobic attitudes in alternative patterns within specific African contexts. The analysis delivered not only challenges Western discourses of generalised African homophobia (especially discussing the counterexample of Mozambique) but also advances understanding of the complexity of how attitudes inter-relate in different postcolonial states.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Leon Freude acknowledges that his work is financed by a grant from the Ministry of Science, Innovation and University (FPU18/02501 and EST19/00149).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Waites, Dr Matthew
Authors: Freude, L., and Waites, M.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Journal Name:Current Sociology
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):1461-7064
Published Online:23 February 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 The Authors
First Published:First published in Current Sociology 71(1): 173-195
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons licence

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