Interrogating Homophobic Violence in a Public High School in Northern Chile

  • Clive Echagüe Universidad Católica del Norte
  • Jaime Barrientos Universidad de Santiago de Chile
Keywords: diversity, girls, gender, femininities, inclusion, sexualities, school management, Latin-America, ethnography, critical discourse analysis


In this article we present a study on how homophobic violence (HV) toward women is carried out in schools. Concepts such as homophobic bullying or HV are commonly used to argue that this type of victimization is a response to hostile relations that occur to a greater degree among students. We performed a 6-month ethnographic study in a public high school in the city of Antofagasta, Chile. Critical discourse analysis was used to analyze our field notes, interviews with students, principals and teachers, and internal school regulations. The main findings indicate that the recent change in educational policies have influenced the organization of the school, in terms of incorporating complex tolerance exercises, vigilance, and regulation of the affective relationships among  students. In addition, a series of practices had been promoted that include the imposition of heterosexual femininity. We conclude that heterosexuality operates as a policy management system in schools, producing zones of exclusion and reinforcing social hierarchies. Thus, in order to understand the articulation of HV, it is necessary to understand it as systemic arrangement within the school, given that this violence includes other expressions of violence, such as gender and class, and HV must also be understood in terms of heterosexual regulation exercises.


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Author Biographies

Clive Echagüe, Universidad Católica del Norte

Clive ECHAGÜE, es maestro en psicología social por la Universidad Católica del Norte y trabaja en la Escuela de Psicología y Escuela de Educación de la misma universidad.

Jaime Barrientos, Universidad de Santiago de Chile

Jaime BARRIENTOS, es doctor en psicología social, profesor asociado de la Escuela de Psicología de la Universidad de Santiago de Chile, especialista en estudios de sexualidades. Ha publicado numerosos artículos y publicó recientemente "La violencia homofóbica en Chile y Latinoamérica" (Ediciones El Desconcierto, 2015).

How to Cite
Echagüe, C., & Barrientos, J. (2017). Interrogating Homophobic Violence in a Public High School in Northern Chile. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 19(1).
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