Shifting Positions of Inclusion

  • Dennis A. Francis
Part of the Queer Studies and Education book series (QSTED)


In this chapter, I highlight how teachers draw on problematic religious, legal, and pathological frameworks to include LGB learners and to teach about non-heterosexualities in schools. Unlike previous work, which shows how teachers use these narratives to exclude sexual minorities, the teacher responses in my study are different and echo similar assimilationists’ patterns found in the integration of African learners during the desegregation of South African schools. In this chapter, I trouble the assimilationist arguments for the inclusion of LGB youth and the teaching of non-normative sexualities and show how the normalizing of gender and sexuality diversity is insufficient for dealing with structural inequality as it merely reifies heterosexism and heteronormativity. I have organized the chapter into three themes: Love the sinner, not the sin; They, too, have rights; and Something happened.


Sexual Orientation Sexual Minority Assimilationist Approach African Learner Equality Clause 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Bhana, D. (2012). Understanding and addressing homophobia in schools: A view from teachers. South African Journal of Education, 32, 307–318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bhana, D. (2014). “Managing” the rights of gays and lesbians: Reflections from some South African secondary schools. Education, Citizenship and Social Justice. doi: 10.1177/1746197913497663.Google Scholar
  3. Carrim, N. (1995). From “race” to ethnicity: Shifts in the educational discourses of South Africa and Britain in the 1990’s. Compare, 25, 17–33.Google Scholar
  4. Carrim, N. (1998). Anti-racism and the “new” South African educational order. Cambridge Journal of Education, 28(3), 301–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Carrim, N., & Soudien, C. (1999). Critical antiracism in South Africa. In S. May (Ed.), Critical multiculturalism: Rethinking multicultural and antiracist education (pp. 163–164). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  6. Chappell, P. (2013). Troubling the socialisation of the sexual identities of youth with disabilities: Lessons for sexuality and HIV pedagogy. In D. Francis (Ed.), Sexuality, Society & Pedagogy (pp. 111–120). Stellenbosch: SUN Media.Google Scholar
  7. Chappell, P. (2015). Queering the social emergence of disabled sexual identities: Linking queer theory with disability studies in the South African context. Agenda, 29(1), 54–62. doi: 10.1080/10130950.2015.1012860.Google Scholar
  8. DePalma, R., & Francis, D. (2013). Letting our commitments rest on the shelf: Teaching about sexual diversity in South African schools. In D. Francis (Ed.), Sexuality; society and pedagogy. Bloemfontein: SUN Media.Google Scholar
  9. DePalma, R., & Francis, D. (2014). South African life orientation teachers: (Not) teaching about sexuality diversity. Journal of Homosexuality, 61(12), 1687–1711. doi: 10.1080/00918369.2014.951256.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Finley, L. (1986). Transcending equality theory: A way out of the maternity and the workplace debate. Columbia Law Review, 86, 1118–1153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Francis, D. (2004). HIVism: A pervasive system of oppression. Journal of Social Work, 40, 61–73.Google Scholar
  12. Francis, D. (2012). Teacher positioning on the teaching of sexual diversity in South African schools. Culture, Health & Sexuality, 14(6), 597–611. doi: 10.1080/13691058.2012.674558.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Francis, D., & Francis, E. (2006). Raising awareness of HIV-related stigma and its associated prejudice and discrimination. South African Journal of Higher Education, 20, 48–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Francis, D., & Hemson, C. (2007a). Multiculturalism in South Africa: Education in the shadow of the rainbow. Journal of Educational Studies, 6, 39–51.Google Scholar
  15. Francis, D., & Hemson, C. (2007b). Rainbow’s end: Consciousness and enactment in social justice education. Perspectives in Education, 25, 99–112.Google Scholar
  16. Francis, D., & Msibi, T. (2011). Teaching about heterosexism: Challenging homophobia in South Africa. Journal of LGBT Youth, 8(2), 157–173. doi: 10.1080/19361653.2011.553713.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gevisser, M., & Cameron, E. (1995). Defiant desire. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  18. Hoad, N., Martin, K., & Reid, G. (Eds.) (2005). Sex and politics in South Africa. Johannesburg: Double Storey.Google Scholar
  19. Jakobsen, J., & Pellegrini, A. (2003). Love the sin: Sexual regulation and the limits of religious tolerance. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Kumashiro, K. (2000). Toward a theory of anti-oppressive education. Review of Educational Research, 70, 25–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kumashiro, K. (2002). Troubling education: Queer activism and anti-oppressive pedagogy. New York: RoutledgeFalmer.Google Scholar
  22. Loutzenheiser, L. W., & MacIntosh, L. B. (2004). Citizenships, sexualities, and education. Theory into Practice, 43(2), 151–158. doi: 10.1207/s15430421tip4302_9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Mayo, C. (2013). LGBTQ youth and education: Policies and practices. New York: Teacher’s College Press Columbia University.Google Scholar
  24. Msibi, T. (2012). “I’m used to it now”: Experiences of homophobia among queer youth in South African township schools. Gender and Education, 24(5), 515–533. doi: 10.1080/09540253.2011.645021.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Reid, G. (2003). “It is just a fashion!” Linking homosexuality and “modernity” in South Africa. Etnofoor, 16(2), 7–25.Google Scholar
  26. Robinson, K. H., & Ferfolja, T. (2001). “What are we doing this for?” Dealing with lesbian and gay issues in teacher education. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 22(1), 121–133. doi: 10.1080/01425690020030828.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Sigamoney, V., & Epprecht, M. (2013). Meanings of homosexuality, same-sex sexuality, and Africanness in two South African townships: An evidence-based approach for rethinking same-sex prejudice. African Studies Review, 56(02), 83–107. doi: 10.1017/asr.2013.43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Smith, A. (2014). Equality constitutional adjudication in South Africa. African Human Rights Law Journal, 2, 609–632.Google Scholar
  29. Soudien, C. (1994). Dealing with race: Laying down patterns for multiculturalism in South Africa. Interchange, 25, 281–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. World Bank (2012). South Africa economic update: Focus on inequality of opportunity. Washington, DC: World Bank.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dennis A. Francis
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Sociology and Social AnthropologyStellenbosch UniversityStellenboschSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations