Intimacy and Power: Approaching Agency and Marriage Equality in Australia



At its most fundamental, ‘making a mark’ describes a particular mode of human agency. For LGBTIQA* Australians, the struggle for the recognition of this agency has long been a feature of living in Australia, and its political landscape. In recent years, marriage equality has become the focus of this struggle for recognition, but marriage equality also provides an opportunity to examine the internal mechanics of how power operates in Australian society. This paper argues that the concept of intimacy is at the centre of the operation of power in this context, and will examine this under the framework of intimate citizenship. It will examine the history of the LGBT+ rights movement in Australia, alongside the historical development of the marriage equality movement. Moreover, it will demonstrate that the agency of LGBT+ Australians in this political struggle is only further indication that intimacy provides a unique channel through which power is experienced and enacted.

Author Biography

Rhys J. Herden, University of Sydney

Rhys is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Sydney


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How to Cite

Herden, R. J. (2018). Intimacy and Power: Approaching Agency and Marriage Equality in Australia. Humanity. Retrieved from