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Regulating homophobic hate speech: Back to basics about language and politics?

Andy Harvey, Andrew Harvey Orcid Logo

Sexualities, Volume: 15, Issue: 2, Pages: 191 - 206

Swansea University Author: Andrew Harvey Orcid Logo

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Abstract

Recently, there has been an explosion of legislation, introduced by the previous Labour Government after 1997, designed to curb ‘hate crime’. This article takes the most recent instance of incitement to hatred on grounds of sexual orientation as its starting point. I discuss the legislation in the c...

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Published in: Sexualities
ISSN: 1363-4607 1461-7382
Published: 2012
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa35469
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Abstract: Recently, there has been an explosion of legislation, introduced by the previous Labour Government after 1997, designed to curb ‘hate crime’. This article takes the most recent instance of incitement to hatred on grounds of sexual orientation as its starting point. I discuss the legislation in the context of debates around free speech and artistic autonomy. Making use of post-stucturalist, psychoanalytic and discourse theories I argue that there are conceptual and practical difficulties attached to the regulation of hate speech if analysed through a politics of subversive repetition. I conclude that a better approach is to think about language as reciprocal communication and to develop a politics of sustained engagement with society that ultimately adopts a more voluntary approach to changing popular uses of language.
College: Faculty of Science and Engineering
Issue: 2
Start Page: 191
End Page: 206