A Global History of Sexuality: The Modern Era

An international background of Sexuality presents a provocative, wide-ranging advent to the heritage of sexuality from the past due eighteenth century to the current day.

Explores what sexuality has intended within the daily lives of people over the past 2 hundred years:

Organized round 4 significant subject matters: the formation of sexual id, the law of sexuality through societal norms, the rules of sexuality via associations, and the intersection of sexuality with globalization

Examines the subject from a comparative, worldwide standpoint, with well-chosen case reports to light up the wider themes

Includes interdisciplinary contributions from well known historians, sociologists, anthropologists, and sexuality stories scholars

Introduces vital theoretical techniques in a transparent, available way

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Additional resources for A Global History of Sexuality: The Modern Era

Sample text

Of course, neither “sexuality” nor “nation” is a simple notion. 1 Moreover, postcolonial theorists such as Homi Bhabha (1990) have insisted that no single model can adequately represent the myriad and contradictory forms taken by nation-states in the modern era. Nevertheless, we can fruitfully examine the interaction of nation building and the construction of modern sexualities in a wide range of possible configurations even if crafting a global historical narrative necessarily entails acknowledging differences and similarities in how various nation-states around the world have framed that interaction.

In later years, medical experimentation, including forced sterilization, served similar ends (Smith 2005). In the South, the institution of slavery conditioned sexual and racial relations in different ways than in the free states. However, the underlying dynamics of white men’s racial, sexual, and gender privilege took a similar form as “southern moralists condoned white men gratifying their lust, as long as they did so discreetly with poor white or black women” (D’Emilio and Freedman 1988, p. 95).

Among other things, the nationbuilding process has often meant pitting scientific truths against religious beliefs, changing both in the process. Government officials cum public health experts have employed science speak and the “language of truth” in order to colonize ever more spheres of human life, including sex, and to manage ever smaller details of citizens’ everyday existence. They have justified this intrusion in large part by invoking the rhetoric of liberation from the yoke of tradition, religion, and superstition—from an undesirable precivilized or premodern state of being.

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