• Lisa Adkins
  • Vicki Merchant
Part of the Explorations in Sociology. book series (EIS)


The theme of this book is ‘sexualizing the social’. It is concerned with the ways in which various aspects of social life — including employment, family life, representations, politics, identities, and the workings of the law and other bureaucratic organizations — are built on, and themselves build, sexuality. All the chapters show how it is now impossible to consider social life without considering how social relations may be constituted through and by sexuality. They thus bear testiment to the ways in which the sociology of sexuality has moved from occupying a marginal space in the discipline, to its centre (Gagnon, 1994). Indeed, one of the characteristics of contemporary sociology is its focus on sexuality. Many of the core concerns of the discipline — such as the nature of modernity and transformations within late modern societies — are now being examined in terms of sexuality, intimacy and the constitution of sexual identities (see, for example, Beck and Beck-Gernsheim, 1995; Giddens, 1992).


Sexual Violence Sexual Identity Late Modernity Feminist Work Constructionist Controversy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Altman, D. et al. (eds) (1989), Which Homosexuality? Essays from the International Scientific Conference on Lesbian and Gay Studies (London: Gay Men’s Press).Google Scholar
  2. Beck, U. and Beck-Gernsheim, E. (1995), The Normal Chaos of Love (Cambridge: Polity Press).Google Scholar
  3. Gagnon, J. (1994), ‘News from the Margin: The Progress of Sex in Sociology’, Opening Plenary Address to the British Sociological Association Annual Conference, Sexualities in Social Context, 28–31 March, Preston.Google Scholar
  4. Giddens, A. (1992), The Transformation of Intimacy: Sexuality, Love and Eroticism in Modern Societies (Cambridge: Polity Press).Google Scholar
  5. Hanmer, J. (1990), ‘Men, Power and the Exploitation of Women’, in J. Hearn and D. Morgan (eds), Men, Masculinities and Social Theory (London: Unw in Hyman).Google Scholar
  6. Jeffreys, S. (1990), Anticlimax (London: The Women’s Press).Google Scholar
  7. McIntosh, M. (1968), ‘The Homosexual Role’, Social Problems, 16: (2), pp. 182–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Pateman, C. (1988), The Sexual Contract (Cambridge: Polity Press).Google Scholar
  9. Plummer, K. (1975), Sexual Stigma: An Interactionist Account (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul).Google Scholar
  10. Rich, A. (1980), ‘Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence’, Signs, 5: (4), pp. 631–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Stacey, M. (1981), ‘The Division of Labour Revisited, or Overcoming the Two Adams’, in P. Abrams, R. Deem, J. Finch, and P. Rock (eds), Practice and Progress in British Sociology, 1950–1980 (London: Allen & Unwin).Google Scholar
  12. Stanley, L. (1982), “’Male Needs”: The Problems of Working with Gay Men’, in S. Friedman and E. Sarah (eds), The Problem of Men: Two Feminist Conferences (London: The Women’s Press).Google Scholar
  13. Stein, E. (ed.) (1992), Forms of Desire: Sexual Orientation and the Social Constructionist Controversy (London: Routledge).Google Scholar
  14. Vance, C. (1989), ‘Social Construction Theory: Problems in the History of Sexuality’, in D. Altman et al. (eds), Which Homosexuality? Essays from the International Scientific Conference on Lesbian and Gay Studies (London: Gay Men’s Press).Google Scholar
  15. Weeks, J. (1977), Coming Out: Homosexual Politics in Britain from the 19th Century to the Present (London: Quartet).Google Scholar
  16. Weeks, J. and Holland, J. (1996), ‘Introduction’, in J. Weeks and J. Holland (eds), Sexual Cultures: Communities, Values and Intimacy (Basingstoke: Macmillan).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© British Sociological Association 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lisa Adkins
  • Vicki Merchant

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations