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From the Publisher"This book seems destined to become a eulogy for the important contributions that Martin Levine made to the sociological study of sexuality, gender, and AIDS.”
-Men and Masculinities
Before gay liberation, gay men were usually perceived as failed men—"inverts," men trapped in women's bodies. The 1970s saw a radical shift in gay male culture, as a male homosexuality emerged that embraced a more traditional masculine ethos. The gay clone, a muscle-bound, sexually free, hard-living Marlboro man, appeared in the gay enclaves of major cities, changing forever the face of gay male culture.
Gay Macho presents the ethnography of this homosexual clone. Martin P. Levine, a pioneer of the sociological study of homosexuality, was among the first social scientists to map the emergence of a gay community and this new style of gay masculinity. Levine was a participant in as well as an observer of gay culture in the 1970s, and this perspective allowed him to capture the true flavor of what it was like to be a gay man before AIDS. Levine's clone was a gender conformist, whose masculinity was demonstrated in patterns of social interaction and especially in his sexuality. According to Levine, his life centered around the "four D's: disco, drugs, dish, and dick."
Later chapters, based on Levine's pathbreaking empirical research, explore some of the epidemiological and social consequences of the AIDS epidemic on this particular substratum of the gay community. Although Levine explicitly refuses to pathologize gay men afflicted with HIV, his work develops a scathing, feminist-inspired critique of masculinity, whether practiced by gay or straight men.
-Men and Masculinities
|Pt. I||The Birth of the Gay Clone||1|
|Introduction: "So Many Men, So Little Time": Toward a Sociology of the Gay Male Clone||3|
|1||"It's Raining Men": The Sociology of Gay Masculinity||10|
|2||"Y.M.C.A.": The Social Organization of Gay Male Life||30|
|3||"(I Wanna Be a) Macho Man": The Masculinization of Clone Social Life||55|
|4||"(You Make Me Feel) Mighty Real": Hypermasculine Sexuality and Gender Confirmation||77|
|5||"Midnight Love Affair": Gay Masculinity and Emotional Intimacy||100|
|References to Part One||111|
|Pt. II||The Death of the Gay Clone||125|
|6||Bad Blood: The Health Commissioner, the Tuskegee Experiment, and AIDS Policy ||127|
|7||Fearing Fear Itself ||138|
|8||Men and AIDS||143|
|9||The Myth of Sexual Compulsivity||158|
|10||The Motives of Gay Men for Taking or Not Taking the HIV Antibody Test||178|
|11||Unprotected Sex: Understanding Gay Men's Participation||205|
|12||The Implications of Constructionist Theory for Social Research on the AIDS Epidemic among Gay Men ||232|
|Epilogue: Martin P. Levine, 1950-1993||247|
|About the Editor||260|
Posted March 14, 2009
Part One was an excellent overview of gay male life in the big cities, especially New York City, in the 1970s up to the advent of AIDS in the early 1980s. However, Part Two gets bogged down in all the surveys, questionnaires, statistics and numbers the author compiled for his research. In my opinion it was dry, boring, and didn't add much to the overall tone of the book. If the book just consisted of Part One, I would've rated it 5 stars. Part Two dragged it down to 3 stars.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.