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After Difference: Queer Activism in Italy and Anthropological Theory

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Volume 6

WYSE Series in Social Anthropology

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After Difference

Queer Activism in Italy and Anthropological Theory

Paolo Heywood

180 pages, 3 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-786-4 $120.00/£89.00 / Hb / Published (February 2018)

ISBN  978-1-80073-452-4 $29.95/£23.95 / Pb / Published (July 2022)

eISBN 978-1-78533-787-1 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit  Buy the eBook! $29.95info on epub formatRequest a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“The book offers a fascinating and insightful discussion on how queer activism’s anti-identitarian character itself constitutes a form of identity, a way for activists to agree on something…It is a valuable and provocative contribution to anthropology which raises important challenges for the discipline and for researchers, principally as regards the way in which they conceive of identity and difference both intellectually and in relation to their objects of research.” • Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute

After Difference situates itself firmly in the current debate on the nature of anthropological theory, providing a lucid critique of different theoretical paradigms and advancing a clear argument against conflating anthropological theory and ethnography.” • Modern Italian Studies

“[This book] serves as an argument for the explicit recognition of the multiplicity of potential differences between anthropology and ethnography and explains how these can exist in tandem, while some equivocal notion of anthropology endures.” • Anthropology News

“Genuinely remarkable… There’s almost nothing quite this lucidly philosophical, conceptually and politically provocative, and deeply ethnographic in recent work… An intellectual treat with few competitors.” · Michael Herzfeld, Harvard University


Queer activism and anthropology are both fundamentally concerned with the concept of difference. Yet they are so in fundamentally different ways. The Italian queer activists in this book value difference as something that must be produced, in opposition to the identity politics they find around them. Conversely, anthropologists find difference in the world around them, and seek to produce an identity between anthropological theory and the ethnographic material it elucidates. This book describes problems faced by an activist "politics of difference," and issues concerning the identity of anthropological reflection itself—connecting two conceptions of difference whilst simultaneously holding them apart.

Paolo Heywood is an assistant professor at Durham University.

Subject: Theory and MethodologyAnthropology (General)Gender Studies and Sexuality
Area: Southern Europe


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