Sex Acts

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Overview

Drawing on original empirical research, this book provides a critical understanding of current theory in the study of sexuality.

Inter-disciplinary in approach, Jennifer Harding identifies a series of key issues on contemporary discourses: essentialism vs constructionism; gender and sexuality; representation and concepts of identity; Foucalut's notion of 'discourse'; and Butler's theory of gender 'performance'. These topics are explored in the light of contemporary cultural contexts - for instance, the debate on hormone theory and the social construction of sexuality, 'gender bending' and masculinity, the maternal body, queer families, and constructions of motherhood and fatherhood.

Incorporating a comprehensive overview of the literature, the book develops major themes relating to history, power, discourse and performativity. Critical summaries of the main debates in the field are presented in an accessible way, while the text forms an insightful guide to the dilemmas involved in the private//public divide.

Harding condenses an immense amount of information in pursuit of her goal: the clarification of the cultures of sexuality in late modern societies. The result is a book which will be essential reading for researchers and students working in the area of sexualities.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803975941
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 9/29/1998
  • Pages: 164
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Meet the Author

Jennifer Harding is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Communications at London Guildhall University.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
1 The Power of Sex - an Introduction 1
2 Investigating Sex - Essentialism and Constructionism 8
3 Private Sex, Public Danger 23
4 Sex/uality and Representation 40
5 Chemical Sex and Social Control 57
6 'Gender-bending' and Masculinity 75
7 Sex/uality and the Maternal Body 92
8 Queer Families 109
9 Sexual Parody - Lesbians in Popular Culture 128
References 139
Index 147
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