Maria Tonini


Research areas and keywords

UKÄ subject classification

  • Social Sciences


  • Gender, sexuality, South Asia


Over the last years, the recognition of India’s queers has been the focus of numerous contestations as a result of the complex developments around Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, which criminalizes “carnal acts against the order of nature”. The section had been partially repealed in 2009 by the Delhi High Court, only to be reinstated in full by the Supreme Court at the end of 2013. In my thesis, I focus on the everyday lives of young queer people (18 to 25 year old) living in Delhi in the period between the two judgments. Focusing on a window of time where same-sex sexualities had been officially recognized for the first time, this thesis raises questions about how recognition and sexual identity are lived and experienced in practice in a period characterized simultaneously by high hopes and pervading insecurity.The situated perspective I favour in my thesis sheds light on the ways in which young people negotiate between their desire to be recognized as queers and the concomitant desire to participate in relations of reciprocity in different contexts, such as the family, peer networks, and the law. Through an analysis of data collected during several fieldwork periods between 2009 and 2012 in Delhi, I show how recognition emerges as an unstable and negotiable element in a cluster of desires, attachments, and aspirations that young queers must balance in their everyday efforts to live a “liveable life”.

Recent research outputs

Maria Tonini, 2018 Apr 8, Routledge Handbook of Queer Development Studies . Mason, C. L. (ed.). New York: Routledge

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter

Maria Tonini, 2016 Apr 19, Lund. 256 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (monograph)

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