Gender, sexuality, and biopolitics: Processes of life management in contemporary policies for social inclusion

Maria Cláudia Dal'Igna, Dagmar Estermann Meyer, Priscila Gomes Dornelles, Carin Klein


This paper examines the relationship between gender, sexuality, and biopolitics in order to point out some of its outcomes and effects on the forms of life management and the conduct of women and men in the so-called “public policies for social inclusion”. The qualitative analysis articulates results from a series of studies carried out by a research group in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The theoretical support consists of post-structuralist gender studies, queer studies and Foucauldian studies. Through this analysis, it is possible to conclude that, in the name of social inclusion, the public policies end up intervening and regulating the lives of certain subjects/groups at minimum cost to guarantee both the reduction of social risks and higher levels of security for the population. It is argued that gender and sexuality have been mobilized to create and strengthen some forms of regulation that should enable women and men to act upon themselves and the others, thus continuing to be participative and searching for solutions for contemporary social problems.


gender; sexuality; biopolitics; public policies; social inclusion


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