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Title:Places or Polygons? Governmentality, Sexuality and the Census in "The Gay and Lesbian Atlas."
Author(s):Knopp, Larry
Contributor(s):Brown, Michael
Subject(s):population geography
Abstract:This paper responds to recent calls for a Foucauldian population geography by critically analyzing the 2004 Gay and Lesbian Atlas (a U.S.-oriented product of demographers at Washington, D.C.’s Urban Institute, a public policy “think tank”). We employ a framework that foregrounds issues of governmentality, sexuality, gender, and scale to explore how both the Atlas and the 2000 U.S. census from which the Atlas’s data are drawn socially construct, for governmental purposes, certain sexualized populations and spaces. We pay particular attention to the power of scaleframing in this process by varying the spatial scales at which location quotients for same-sex households are situated for census tracts in Seattle, Washington. Following the Atlas’s classification and coding algorithms, we show how the resulting cartography can reveal elements of a population that has previously been invisible in the census – but only relative to certain larger scales. The question of scale therefore becomes an important matter of governmentality, rather than solely a technical issue.
Issue Date:2005-08
Series/Report:Transnational Seminar Series
Conference Paper / Presentation
Publication Status:unpublished
Peer Reviewed:not peer reviewed
Sponsor:Title VI National Resource Center Grant (P015A030066)
Date Available in IDEALS:2008-01-25

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