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.


Marriage isn’t just a personal relationship, it’s an institution. The traditional form of monogamous heterosexual marriage sanctioned by the state (and ideally blessed by the church) is a cornerstone of modern social organization and the primary way of organizing sexuality and kinship. In recent years the institution of marriage has undergone significant shifts. The articles in this section chronicle some of these changes.

In “The Changing Landscape of Love and Marriage,” Kathleen E. Hull, Ann Meier, and Timothy Ortyl look at the shift in recent years away from marriage as a means of traditional and economic family ties to marriage as compulsory and taken-for-granted arrangement. What explains this shift? The authors present two prominent theories about the changes in marriage; Anthony Giddon’s “confluent love,” a ...

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