Sexual Sociality between Lebanese and Syrian men: A Study of the Representations of Syrian Men in the Non-heterosexual Lebanese Context.

University essay from Lunds universitet/Centrum för Mellanösternstudier

Abstract: This thesis explores the multiple representations of Syrian men in the non-heterosexual Lebanese context. Through qualitative research methods, eleven Lebanese men who have sex with men are interviewed about their sexual sociality with Syrian men. In terms of eroticization, this thesis exposes that Western and negotiated forms of orientalism overlap and produce multiple and even contradictory forms of sexual desire concerning Syrian men. Sexual script theory is utilized to explain the diversity of sexual desires. Regarding sexual rejection, this thesis combines sexual field theory and intersecting processes of racialization, orientalism, and sexualization to illustrate the sexual othering of Syrian men. Altogether, this thesis goes beyond encapsulating sexual sociality in a dichotomy of eroticization versus rejection and argues that engagement in casual sexual encounters with Syrian men breaches this dichotomy. Finally, this thesis explores through the lens of positionality how some Lebanese men reflexively position themselves within multiple social hierarchies to inform their attitudes towards Syrian men.

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