Volume 2, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2211-3770
  • E-ISSN: 2211-3789
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This paper examines the understudied and stigmatized sexual category of “bisexuality” as it emerges in the discourse of bisexuals at a California university. Building on the concepts of performance and “doing” identity presented by Butler (2006 [1990]), Goffman (1990 [1959]), and West and Zimmerman (1987), an outline is offered for how bisexuals, who are made invisible by the hetero/homo binary, may build an intelligible social performance of their identity and sexuality. Utilizing methods from within sociocultural linguistics (i.e., “the broad interdisciplinary field concerned with the intersection of language, culture, and society” [Bucholtz & Hall 2005: 586]), this paper uses ethnographic observations and video-recorded social interaction in order to analyze how bisexuality is performed in social contexts, with a focus on its performance in discourse. The paper closes with a critique of the ways that normativity operates alongside efforts at social resistance and an exploration of the relationship between different layers of sexuality.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): behavior; bisexuality; desire; identity; interaction; normativity; performance; resistance
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