Evgeny M. Shtorn

National Research University Higher School of Economics, Saint- Petersburg, Russia

Articles. Research
 
This article examines court decisions which are very prominent issues for social scientists because they consist of information about the relationships between people in nontrivial circumstances. At the same time, the texts of decisions are in fact devoid of social understanding by sociologists, the circumstances of the relations that led to tragic consequences are not of interest to law enforcement or judicial bodies. The article provides a detailed description and analysis of the texts of court decisions under Art. 105 of the Criminal Code (murder) related to crimes against non-heterosexual men. First, I describe how the selection criteria for the analyzed sentences were determined. Then the most typical of the described stories in the selected documents are described in detail. At the same time, judicial decisions were analyzed with a view to studying the aspects of power relations in contemporary sexual culture in Russia. I am interested in the social environment in which the stories presented in the texts of sentences occur, how power relations are built and how the boundaries of heteronormative sexuality are protected. Therefore, the details of the circumstances of the interaction of the perpetrator and the victim, most often under the influence of alcohol, are subject to special detail. All murders were explicitly committed against non-heterosexual subjects. The circumstances of the murders indicate that the crimes occurred in private spaces and, as a rule, in a state of intoxication. The collected materials are not allowed to reveal any regional, religious or ethnic specifics in the context of these criminal acts, however, by indirect details, a specific class identity of both the victim and the offender is revealed. In conclusion, I argue that the division into private and public is a false dichotomy when analyzing the life experience of non-heterosexual subjects.
 
Keywords: hate crimes, intimacy, private/public, law, sexuality
 
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