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.



Staci Newmahr

The title of this book, Selves, Symbols, and Sexualities, is intended to capture the central concerns of the symbolic interactionist perspective in the study of sexuality. These are not sections unto themselves because interactionists treat them as interrelated. Within each section of this book, our contributors have been dealing with selves and symbols as they relate to sexualities.

We opened this book with the often-taken-for-granted idea of “sexiness.” For many students, symbolic interactionism is sexy itself (at least as far as sociological perspectives go). Its microsociological lens invites us to think about ourselves, our everyday lives, our gestures, and our communications, all of which can be especially appealing for students beginning to think critically about the social world. Yet ...

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