This new anthology from SAGE brings together over 90 recent readings on gender, sexuality, and intimate relationships from Contexts, the award-winning magazine published by the American Sociological Association. Each contributor is a contemporary sociologist writing in the clear, concise, and jargon-free style that has made Contexts the “public face” of sociology. Jodi O’Brien and Arlene Stein, former Contexts Editors, have chosen pieces that are timely, thought-provoking, and especially suitable for classroom use; written introductions that frame each of the books three main sections; and provided questions for discussion.

Locating Intimacy
Locating Intimacy

All cultures have rules and expectations for love and kinship. For instance, contemporary U.S. cultural practice emphasizes monogamous marriage as a central way of organizing are two people who, “in love.” This cultural form is supported by legal and religious mandates and encouraged in myriad ways in popular media. Many people live contentedly within this cultural script, while many others find themselves outside the boundaries set up through gender, race, and class expectations, as well as expectations about how to feel and be. Each of the articles in this section illustrate the complexities of the taken-for-granted family model of intimacy.

Until the 1970s, marriage across racial lines was still illegal in many U.S. states. Amy Steinbugler shares the stories of couples who are ...

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