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 IV: Sex, Emotion, and Identity
The sociology of emotions, though not the domain of symbolic interactionism, is an important and rapidly expanding direction for interactionist research. In particular, symbolic interactionists are concerned with how emotional experience and understandings shape social life and, in this case, sexualities. This section deals also with sexual identity, but it focuses primarily on the role of emotions and emotional experience in identity construction and negotiation.
Chapter 13 lays the groundwork for thinking about the centrality of emotion in sexual identities (broadly defined). In this chapter, Clare Forstie illustrates the connection between talking about feelings (what she calls “discursive emotional labor”) about a lesbian social space and lesbian identity more broadly. Forstie's analysis uncovers the extent to which people ...