LGBTIQ+ life course inequalities and queer temporalities

Yener Bayramoglu, Maria do Mar Castro Varela*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The chapter explores the contribution of queer theory to life course approaches. Life course refers to a specific research perspective on age-graded trajectories that overlap with social structures. There have been important contributions within life course research in recent years that challenge the normative perception of human life as a progression from a dependent, helpless organism into a subject. Yet still, as we will outline, most studies still focus on (hetero-)normative transitions in lives such as school to work, marriage, or having a child. We suggest that by queering this sociological approach, researching queer lives not only becomes a possibility but additionally challenges the approach itself. We claim that a focus on queer life calls for a more dynamic model, which pluralizes possible turning points in human life, but also questions the Eurocentric idea of linearity. Our discussion expands upon life course (and life span) research on LGBTIQ+ lives and claims that research on LGBTIQ+ lives may render queer subjects and their experience of life and turning points visible, which in mainstream research may be described as “ex-centric” as they do not follow a typical (re-)productive and heteronormative life path. On the flip side, life course studies can profit from the concept of queer temporalities productively and open the research frame for non-normative diverse lives. We interlink the sociological discussions on human life with queer theoretical approaches on temporality. The chapter zooms into the effects of chronopolitics associated with migration politics and trans refugees.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Inequalities and the Life Course
EditorsMagda Nico, Gary Pollock
ISBN (Print)9781032163512
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sept 2023

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