This proposed book is an anthology of both original and reprinted articles on sexuality from a sociological perspective. The readings in this collection focus on the diverse and multi-layered meanings of sexuality, sexual behaviors and sexual identities. The essays in this book will explore sexuality as a social process. As a whole, the book takes the perspective that what each of us understands to be sexual is constructed through everyday social processes and interaction, situated in particular spaces and moments, identified through our social-sexual presentations, and symbolized through language, objects and practices. The book is organized around these four distinct but interrelated processes, and augmented by personal narratives around relevant issues. The purpose of this book is to broaden students' perspectives on sexuality by providing them with a consistent framework to help them understand sexualities as social phenomena. The authors' goals for the book are: to engage students in the sociological enterprise by providing interesting and insightful entries that emphasize the importance of meaning-making in human sexuality, and to provide them with conceptual tools to understand human sexuality in a complex and quickly-changing sexual landscape.
Part III: Negotiating Sexual Selfhood
In the next two parts of the book, we deal with one of the most important areas of symbolic interactionist studies: identity. Symbolic interactionists have long been interested in identity processes and identity work. The concern emerges from work in psychology and social psychology, such as that of James (1890) and Cooley (1902) and, later, Mead (1934). The perspective assumes that our selves exist in a reciprocal relationship with society: The self emerges from and in turn shapes the larger society (Stryker 1980).
The chapters in Part III focus on negotiating sexual selves in the context of other—sometimes conflicting—identities. In Chapter 9, J. Edward Sumerau analyzes the identity work of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Christians as they navigate ...