The first book of its kind, Sociology and the New Materialism explores the many and varied applications of “new materialism,” a key emerging trend in 21st century thought, to the practice of doing sociology. Offering a clear exposition of new materialist theory and using sociological examples throughout to enable the reader to develop a materialist sociological understanding, the book:  • Outlines the fundamental precepts of new materialism  • Explores how materialism provides new perspectives on the range of sociological topic areas  • Explains how materialist approaches can be used to research sociological issues and also to engage with social issues. Sociology and the New Materialism is a clear and authoritative one-stop guide for advanced undergraduates and postgraduates in sociology, cultural studies, social policy and related disciplines.

Sexuality Desire, Intensification, Becoming

Sexuality: Desire, Intensification, Becoming

Introduction

In this chapter, we consider how sexuality may be understood from within a materialist perspective, and take issue with some of the conventional perspectives on sexuality, drawing on two ontological issues raised in the first section of this book. First, we question (and reject) the anthropocentric privileging of the human body and subject as the locus of sexuality, posing a profound challenge to the Western (liberal, humanist) understanding of sexuality. Second, we dissolve the traditional mind/matter dualism in social theory (Braidotti, 2013: 4–5), to explore sexuality – and the micropolitics that surround it – from within an ontology that asserts a central role for matter (Coole and Frost, 2010: 19).

To explore sexuality from a materialist perspective, we ...

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