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Voices from the Margins: Sadomasochism and Sexual Citizenship

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Practitioners of sadomasochism (SM) are currently excluded from full citizenship in the UK. However, in recent years we have seen a growth in stories of sadomasochism and with this a challenge to this exclusion from some within SM communities. Over the last ten years or so we also have witnessed the emergence of feminist, sexual and queer citizens providing radical challenges to mainstream approaches to citizenship. This article explores how SM provides boundary tests for notions of citizenship and how it also occupies a particularly complex position with regard to the relationship between citizenship and transgression and the intersection of gender, sexuality and citizenship. In the light of this, it is argued that it is necessary to engage dialectically with citizenship and transgression as a way of meeting the different needs of community members while continuing to work to transform the sexual citizen.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Open University, Milton Keynes, UK

Publication date: 01 September 2006

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