Cosmopolitan knowledge and the production and consumption of sexualized space:Manchester's gay village

Binnie, Jon and Skeggs, Beverley (2004) Cosmopolitan knowledge and the production and consumption of sexualized space:Manchester's gay village. Sociological Review, 52 (1). pp. 39-61. ISSN 0038-0261

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According to Žižek (1997) the logic of late capitalism offers opportunities for the incorporation of previously marginalised groups, whilst simultaneously dividing them at the same time. These possibilities for incorporation create divisions on the basis of gender, race, sexuality and class. Here, we examine how the capitalist desire for opening new markets for leisure consumption with new forms of branding, alongside the desire for the territorialisation of space by campaigning gay and lesbian groups, has led to the formation of a 'gay space' marketed as a cosmopolitan spectacle, in which the central issue becomes a matter of access and knowledge: who can use, consume and be consumed in gay space? We also ask what is the radical political impetus of sexual politics when commodified as cosmopolitan and incorporated spatially? The paper grounds the examination of the politics of cosmopolitanism within a specific locality drawing upon research under-taken on the contested use of space within Manchester's gay village. The paper is organised into four sections. The first examines competing definitions of cosmopolitanism, exploring how sexuality and class are framed as conceptual limits. The second describes how Manchester's gay village is imagined and branded as cosmopolitan. The third considers the navigation and negotiation of difference within this space. The final section evaluates the exclusions from cosmopolitan space and pursues the significance of this for arguments about incorporation in late capitalism.

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Journal Article
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Sociological Review
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07 Jul 2020 09:00
Last Modified:
17 Sep 2023 02:50