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Myth of the Modern Homosexual: Queer History and the Search for Cultural Unity (Sexual politics) Paperback – January, 1998


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Product Details

  • Series: Sexual politics
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Cassell (January 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0304338923
  • ISBN-13: 978-0304338924
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,960,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By SEBASTIANVS on August 29, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is a very interesting book to read not only for the essentialists but also even for the constructionists. However, it is regrettable for me that the author didn't mention on the Japanese traditional custom of male-love so much, since in Japan there're more documents and classical texts about "paiderastia" than the ancient Greek, and in premodern Japan male/male love was highly recommended and praised. I suggest three books "Male Color" by Gary P. Leupp , "The Love of the Samurai" by T. Watanabe & J. Iwata, and "Partings at Dawn" to read .
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14 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Erik Holland on January 31, 2005
Format: Paperback
I used to believe that it would take advanced biology to refute the absurd claims of social constructionists as they pertain to the origin of homosexuality...and then I came across this gem of a book. Norton demolishes the vast bulk of queer theory via historical references alone. The ridiculous claim of queer theory that "the homosexual" is a 19th century social construction is abundantly refuted by a huge amount of historical evidence concerning the existence of pre-19th century homosexual subcultures and the conceptualization of homosexuality or bisexuality as types of personalities rather than phenomena consisting of unusual sex roles or sex acts only. Norton describes the indigenous taxonomy of various homosexual types, including the active partner, in various cultures.

Norton shows that queer theory is a political theory. The reason that queer theorists date the construction of "the homosexual" to the 19th century is that the 19th century is the era of bourgeois capitalism that can be subjected to Marxist analysis; an earlier date simply wouldn't work. Queer theorists even talk about the production and distribution of sexualities, as if sexualities are economic products! Would bourgeois society want to construct "the homosexual"? In 1741, 17-year-old Dutchman Jan Jansz was convicted of sodomy and spent the remaining 57 years of his life in solitary confinement. Dutch authorities then sometimes destroyed any records of the persecution of homosexuals, and did not use them as negative examples to enforce or define normality. Would these same authorities want to construct "the homosexual"?

Much to the chagrin of social constructionists who associate the rise of capitalism with the control of sexuality, i.e.
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