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The Social Construction of Sexuality (Second Edition) (Contemporary Societies Series) Paperback – October 8, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0393934021 ISBN-10: 0393934020 Edition: Second Edition

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The Social Construction of Sexuality (Second Edition)  (Contemporary Societies Series) + Introducing the New Sexuality Studies: 2nd Edition
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Product Details

  • Series: Contemporary Societies Series
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Second Edition edition (October 8, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393934020
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393934021
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #75,129 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Steven Seidman has lectured widely in the United States and Europe on the topic of sexuality. He is the author of many books, including Romantic Longings: Love in America, 1830–1980, Embattled Eros: Sexual Ethics and Politics in America, Queer Theory/Sociology, and Beyond the Closet: The Transformation of Gay and Lesbian Life. He currently teaches sociology at the State University of New York at Albany.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Corey on June 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
The Social Construction of Sexuality is an excellent INTRODUCTION to sociological theorizing on sexuality. The book is a teaser, in a sense, because it leaves the reader eager to read past theorists for themselves or explore individual topics in greater detail. Ideal for UNDERgraduate sociology courses. A succinct, well explicated, quick read.

My main problem with the book is that it is so heavy on theory that interesting empirical niceties have been ignored. If using this text for a "Social Construction of Sexuality" course, I would reccomend an anthology or reader with empirical findings to supplement the pure theory found in the book.

Another criticism of the book is that it follows the lead of too many recent "social constructionists" in explaining how categories of knowledge are socially conceived. I prefer a different strain of empirical social constructionist work - a type best executed in Frankenberg's "The Social Construction of Whiteness." In the original work by Berger & Luckmann, as well as the Frankenberg book, an attempt is made to trace the social construction of categories of meaning throughout the life cycle of the individual or group. In Seidman's work, he resorts to broad historical generalities which amount to male-good, female-bad, and homosexual-bad, hetrosexual-good.

The book is worth the read, but I don't think a reader will walk away convinced that a social constructionist approach is the best one to use when approaching sexuality. Use the book as a quick way to survey the sociological literature on the subject, and move on.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mrscorysmom on January 18, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I started reading this as required material for a class that I was taking and ended up finishing the book before the class started. Received this book two days ago and couldnt put it down. Very easy read with informative and interesting material. Highly recommended as a side read and especially for someone ready to explore their sexuality. Outstanding literature...
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was assigned in a college course, and I honestly did not read it at first.... When it came time for our Midterm, I began reading the book in order to study, and I quickly realized I had read past the portion assigned -- it was a really good read, and it is one of the few books from my college career that I plan on keeping rather than selling back. Good intro to, as the title states, the idea of sexuality as a social construction.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Travis on April 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book was assigned to me during a Human Sexuality class, and I must say that it was a great introduction to social constructionist theories of sexuality. It reads rather well, and gives insightful interviews and discussions about how sexuality is perceived in our society. I'd highly recommend it if your new to sexual theory/women's studies.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nom de plume on March 29, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book provides a thoughtful and objective look at what can be a taboo topic. It is refreshing to find such an abundance of information regarding this primal desire.
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