“With great rigour, yet an enviable lightness of touch, Susan Pickard has written an engaging and accessible book that students will love.” – Rosaline Gill, City University London “A scholarly tour de force that brings into focus the various disciplines, histories, literatures and knowledges that have transformed us into modern subjects of age.” – Stephen Katz, Trent University Age Studies takes an invigorating approach to the study of age and ageing in contemporary society. Encompassing ageing throughout the life course, taking in childhood, adolescence, mid-life and older age, and situated explicitly within a sociological disciplinary framework, Age Studies: • Explores current social science debates on the study of ageing linking these to core sociological concepts. • Links theory and application, using a variety of examples and international case studies • Includes chapter summaries, further reading and guided questions. A thought-provoking companion to advanced undergraduates and postgraduate student studying ageing, older people, social gerontology and related courses.
Chapter 7: Sexuality through the Life Course
Sexuality through the Life Course
Background: sexuality as a regulative device
In this chapter we turn our attention to sexuality and I suggest that, as a regulatory and ideological vehicle, sexuality works closely with, and through, gender to establish and maintain not just difference but inequality. As Foucault tells us, it does this through introducing ‘sexuality’ as a property of the self, in and through which our subjectivities are expressed (and increasingly seen as the site of our true selves). (Hetero)sexuality, and the heterosexual matrix,1 we will argue, work to ensure the dominance of both men over women and youth over age. Here, we first set out two main approaches to analysing sexuality on which we will draw (Walby, 1990). The ...