Gay and Lesbian Politics: Sexuality and the Emergence of a New Ethic
An active participant in and theorist of the gay and lesbian movement, Mark Blasius contends that being gay or lesbian is by definition political. By extension, the phenomenon of a movement founded on collective identity is a quintessential part of American politics. The continually rising public consciousness of the needs and interest of gays and lesbians provides Blasius with a vehicle for showing how a particular aspect of human life comes to assume political dimensions. Upon this premise, he analyzes the process of how power is exercised through sexuality and traces the historical conditions that have made possible a gay and lesbian politics
Drawing on works of political philosophy, social science, including Foucault, and gay and lesbian studies, Blasius explores the invention of a gay and lesbian ethos, through which participation, even for apolitical gays and lesbians, goes beyond a shared culture and perspective. It is a way of life more encompassing than either sexual orientation or lifestyle alone. Though he acknowledges and reflects upon the divergent range of gay and lesbian experiences, Blasius provides a framework based on theories of power, sexuality, and ethics that elaborates the significance of the movement as a whole within contemporary society. Author note: Mark Blasius, Associate Professor of Political Science at City University of New York, LaGuardia, is the co-author of We Are Everywhere: An Historical Sourcebook in Gay and Lesbian Politics.
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