Lesbian & Bisexual Identities
This book examines the stories of lesbian and bisexual women in a Northeast community who share who they are, how they have come to see themselves as lesbian or bisexual, and what those identities mean to them. Drawing on social constructionist approaches to identity, Kristin G. Esterberg argues that identities are multiple and contingent. Created within the context of specific communities and within specific relationships, lesbian and bisexual identities are ways of sorting through experiences of desires and attractions, relationships, and politics. Their meanings change over time as women grow older and have more varied experiences, as the communities and sociopolitical worlds in which they live change, and as their life circumstances alter.
In interviews conducted over a four-year time period, women describe the lesbian community they live in; how they see its structure, its social groups, its informal rules and norms for behavior; and their places inside -- or on the margins of -- the community. Lesbian and Bisexual Identities reveals how women fall in and out of love, how they "perform" lesbian or bisexual identity through clothing, hairstyle, body language, and talk, and many other aspects typically not considered. The women present a variety of accounts. Some consider themselves "lesbian from birth" and have constructed their lives accordingly, while others have experienced significant shifts in their identities, depending on the influences of feminism, progressive politics, the visibility of the lesbian community, and other factors.
Esterberg offers vivid accounts that defy the stereotypes so commonly offered. Lesbian and Bisexual Identities not only presents women's stories in their own words, it moves beyond storytelling to understand how these accounts resonate with social science theories of identity and community.
What people are saying - Write a review
Lesbian and Bisexual Identities: Constructing Communities, Constructing SelvesUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
These two books are so similar as to be interchangeable; the only significant difference is that one study was done on the West Coast and the other on the East. Stein (sociology, Univ. of Oregon ... Read full review
Theorizing Identity Lesbian and Bisexual Accounts
Essentially Lesbian? Performing Lesbian Identity
Race Class Identity
Twelve Steppers Feminists and Softball Dykes
Rule Making and Rule Breaking
active Alex Goldman argue behavior bian bisexual community bisexual identity bisexual women butch celibate Cheryl Cook choice choose Chrissy context culture define Denny Slater described domestic partnership dyke experience feel felt feminine feminist friendship gay identity gender heterosexual heterosexual women homosexual iden identify identity accounts Ilene Zemke important individuals involved Joan Borman Kate Williams kind labeling theory labels Laurel Jameson lesbian and bisexual lesbian and gay lesbian community lesbian feminism lesbian identity lesbian or bisexual lesbian-identified Leslie Mohr live look Louise Marcela Marjorie Garber mean munity normative account norms notion Patrice Amaro person play political queer theory race rela relationships with women Sally Zimmerman second interview sense sexual identity social social constructionism softball stories straight Susan Becker talk Task Force tell there's thought tion tionship tity Wendy Hammond white women woman women of color working-class