The Gender/sexuality Reader: Culture, History, Political Economy

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Roger N. Lancaster, Micaela Di Leonardo
Psychology Press, 1997 - Social Science - 574 pages
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The Gender/Sexuality Reader is a sophisticated survey of the best recent work on bodies and desires across cultures and through time. Foregrounding ethnographic studies and social history, this anthology brings together an unusually broad selection of essays across the disciplines--essays that link the typically segregated topics of desire, demography, and nationalism; bodily adornment and violence against women; colonialism, gender, race, and sexuality. The settings of these rich studies are diverse: the contemporary United States, haunted by spectres of race and sex; post-Maoist China, whose love affair with the commodity draws on images of white-skinned women; modern clinics and hospitals, where new medical technologies pose unprecedented dilemmas; sexual subcultures as diverse as the lesbian community of San Francisco and carnival worlds in Brazil; and historical periods ranging from classical antiquity to postmodern Egypt. The topics these essays treat are likewise diverse and engaging: eugenics in Singapore, the political and economic context of motherhood in Brazil, rape and the inner lives of black American women, sex/culture wars in the US, the precariousness of sexual identity--and its political implications--in Nicaragua, and media representations of Africa. These essays develop the insights of social constructionism, showing how gender, sexuality, and power are historically connected and practically intertwined. Taken together, they also extend the reach of this approach, concretely connecting gender/sexuality to class, race, and nation. Contributors make use of postmodernism's topical mobility and cultural studies' thematic range while--in the best of the social science tradition--never losing sight of biology, political economy, and history. The editors' introduction situates this ground-breaking, contemporary work in the rise of feminist, gay poststructuralist, and political-economic theories, and illuminates the changing political contestations at the heart of embodied desire.
  

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Contents

LOCAL MEANINGS GLOBAL ECONOMIES
5
Carnal Knowledge and Imperial Power
13
Scientific Racism and the Invention of the Homosexual Body
37
White Lies Black Myths
53
Kinship Parenthood States
69
Population
89
State Fatherhood
107
Fetal Images
134
The Social Skin
307
Victorian Clitoridectomy
325
Material Girl
335
Resistances Reinscriptions and Dispersals
359
Sisters and Queers
378
Negotiating Sex and Gender
440
The NeoFamilyValues Campaign
453
Transnational and Postcolonial Interlocutions
471

Comparative Sexualities
151
Capitalism and Gay Identity
169
Seed of the Nation
194
CORPOREAL PRACTICES
207
How to Build a Man
244
From Nation to Family
279
Movie Stars and Islamic Moralism in Egypt
502
Sex Acts and Sovereignty
513
Excerpt from Introduction to Bodies That Matter
531
The End of the Body?
543
Gutos Performance
559
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About the author (1997)

Roger Lancaster teaches at George Mason University and is author of Life is Hard: Machismo, Danger, and the Intimacy of Power in Nicaragua. Micaela di Leonardo teaches in the Anthropology and Women's Studies departments at the University of California, Berkeley and is the author of The Varieties of Ethnic Experience.

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