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Slobodanka Boba Dekić: “Politics or Policies? Confronting Anti-Gender Narratives on Family and Gender by LGBT Organizations in Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Croatia”

15. March 14:00 - 16:00

Activities and transnational networks of anti-gender movements and their insistence on the dangers of “gender ideology” for the preservation of traditional family and “natural” understanding of men and women have been thoroughly documented through series of academic papers and publications (see Kuhar and Paternotte, eds. 2017; Kovats and Poim, eds. 2015; Lazaridis, Campani and Benveniste, eds. 2016; Korolczuk and Graff, 2018).
The focus of my research is on the counter -narratives, usually framed through the term “progressive forces” (Kovats and Poim, eds. 2015) and particularly their key points in creating the alternative narrative on family and family politics. In that regard, I am analyzing advocacy and lobbying activities of local LGBT organizations related to legalization of same-sex partnerships, as well as understanding of family politics among local LGBT activists.
The aim of the research is to examine the potential (and readiness) of local LGBT organizations to substantially challenge dominant narratives on the traditional family, framed in the line with the populist, anti-gender understandings of the term. I am observing these two (conflicted?) narratives on family in relation to three discourses, which I see as crucial for populist and anti-gender narratives in CEE and the Balkans, namely ‘’anti-communist’’ one; relation between EU and the “back warded” peripheries of CEE and the Balkans and; and the one on creation of a “new” society, based on nationhood and traditional values, with traditional family as its main pillar.

Slobodanka Dekić is PhD candidate in sociology at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade, and a researcher within the project “FATIGUE: Delayed Transformational Fatigue in Central & Eastern Europe: Responding to the Rise of Illiberalism / Populism”. She obtained her professional experience in Mediacentar Sarajevo and LGBT organizations in Bosnia and Herzegovina.


15. March
14:00 - 16:00