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RN23 - Sexuality

A safe space for sharing original, challenging perspectives on sexuality.

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In contrast to the long history of medical and psychological interest in sexuality, the sociological understanding of sexuality is a relatively new phenomenon, spanning a history of some 40 years. However during this time the sociology of sexuality, through both empirical research and theoretical writing, has become an important feature of academic work at both a national and international level. This work has enabled sociology to develop critical alternatives to the essentialism present in mainstream research on sexualities. Similarly, significant links have been made between sexuality and other salient social identities, for example gender, race, class and nationality. Whilst acknowledging the importance of biology, contemporary sociologists of sexuality prioritize the relationship between the individual and society to show the ways in which sexual desires, practices, identities, and attitudes are conceptualized, categorized, deployed, and ultimately regulated through the social institutions and practices of different societies. These areas, together with issues relating to the theorisation of sexuality alongside methodological developments, form important foci for this research network.

In its consolidation as an academic space for scholars working in this area to discuss current research in this area, the network has become in these years a safe space for sharing original, challenging perspectives on sexuality, and – not least – a warm space for pleasurable human relations.

Coordinator: Chiara Bertone, University of Eastern Piedmont, Alessandria, Italy, chiara.bertone@unipmn.it

Co-coordinator: Zowie Davy, University of Lincoln, UK, zdavy@lincoln.ac.uk

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