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Beatriz Santos Barreto

Beatriz Santos Barreto

Research Project: LGBTQ movements in Argentina and Brazil: a queer analysis of collective identities, dilemmas, strategies and results

In 2015, I completed my MA in Gender Analysis in International Development at the University of East Anglia. In my master’s dissertation I argued that when development initiatives do not challenge normative structures they become another tool that reinforces these structures, which diminishes development projects' reach and effectiveness.

My PhD research analyses LGBTQ movements in Argentina and Brazil comparatively, investigating how intersectional identities and intra-movement power relations influence movements’ strategic choices, thus impacting the goals they pursue and their limitations once achieved. My hypothesis is that LGBTQ movements that developed strategies focused on working with(in) the state, although successful in acquiring a set of rights, later lacked the political power and the repertoire to contest political shifts to a conservative and antagonistic direction. In that respect, I will question whether the decision to work with(in) the state has also been informed by intersectional elements that determine which subsets of LGBTQ movements have the material and cultural resources to approach the state and to, later, resist antagonistic backlashes.

Argentina and Brazil provide an opportunity to compare countries bearing political, economic and social similarities but where LGBTQ movements developed in different ways albeit facing similar challenges. At a time when progressive social movements are under attack by increasingly powerful right-wing groups and politicians, it is paramount to question strategies and their ability to enact profound and long-lasting social change. In the realm of social movement theory, my research adds to our understanding of competing social movement’s interests and strategies by offering a queer framework that privileges an analysis of internal power relations in their continual interaction with other internal and external causal mechanisms that facilitate, constrain, and shape collective action.

Research interests

Gender, sexuality, intersectionality, queer theory, social movements, judicialization of politics, NGOisation of social movements, and queer methodologies.

My PhD is funded by the Cambridge Trust and a Hughes Hall PhD Scholarship