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Reviving the Tribe: Regenerating Gay Men's Sexuality and Culture in the Ongoing Epidemic (Haworth Gay & Lesbian Studies) [Paperback]

by Eric Rofes
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

December 8, 1995 1560238763 978-1560238768 0
Reviving the Tribe creates a rich and brutally honest portrait of contemporary gay men’s lives amidst the seemingly endless AIDS epidemic and offers both autobiographical self-examination and a relentless critique of current sexual politics within the gay community. Fearlessly confronting the horrors experiences by surviving gay men without giving way to hopelessness, denial, or blame, Reviving the Tribe offers an inspiring blueprint for the gay community which faces a continuing spiral of disaster.

In Reviving the Tribe, Author Eric Rofes argues that a return to the interrupted agenda of gay liberation may provide long-term motivation to keep gay men alive and spur rejuvenation of new generations of gay culture. By interweaving social history, psychology, anthropology, epidemiology, sociology, feminist theory, and sexology with his own journey through the epidemic, Rofes provides a moving and compelling argument for stepping out of the “state of emergency” and embracing a life beyond disease. He boldly offers a plan for community regeneration focused on restoring mental health, reclaiming sexuality, and mending the social fabric of communal gay life.

Rofes asks unspoken questions lurking in gay men’s minds and suggests answers to these questions, hitting such controversial topics as:
  • gay men’s sex cultures of the 1970s
  • why “educated” gay men continue to become HIV-infected
  • changing forms of gay masculinity
  • the opening of new sex clubs and bathhouses
  • leaving “rage activism” behind
  • links between the Holocaust and AIDS
  • unacknowledged roots in the feminist movement of gay men’s AIDS response
  • mass denial of chronic trauma among gay men

    The refusal to confront the ever-intensifying manifestations of AIDS has seriously endangered the foundation of contemporary gay communities. Rofes argues that many gay men suffer from the ”disaster syndrome,” a psychologically determined response that defends individuals against being overwhelmed by traumatic experience. In Reviving the Tribe, he provides a radical critique of contemporary gay political culture and suggests alternatives which offer the opportunity to face history, grapple with decimation, and regenerate communal life.

    Cautioning that an honest analysis of recent gay history and urban cultures promises neither to stop gay men’s suffering nor to end continuing HIV infections, Reviving the Tribe provides gay men with a clear lens through which they might scrutinize their lives, come to a new understanding of the epidemic’s impact on their generation, and redirect activism. This courageous and inspiring work brings Rofes’commanding intellect and twenty years of grassroots gay activism to bear on the challenging task of reconstructing gay life in the new mellennium.

    Reviving the Tribe is filled with insight of special interest to gay men, lesbians involved in the mixed lesbian/gay movement, sociologists, public health workers, psychologists, counselors, sex educators, religious leaders, and AIDS prevention policymakers searching for fresh vision.

Frequently Bought Together

Reviving the Tribe: Regenerating Gay Men's Sexuality and Culture in the Ongoing Epidemic (Haworth Gay & Lesbian Studies) + Dry Bones Breathe: Gay Men Creating Post-AIDS Identities and Cultures
Price for both: $89.60

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Product Details

  • Series: Haworth Gay & Lesbian Studies
  • Paperback: 318 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (December 8, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560238763
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560238768
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,202,565 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Read December 13, 2001
By Kyle
Eric Rofes takes a sociological perspective on the affects the HIV epidemic has had on the gay community. He argues that the gay community has moved through 3 phases. At first there was an initial panic phase and fear. That phase was followed by a militant optimism and a struggle to make the issue a national priority. The second phase was based on two assumptions: that a cure was near and that the gay community knew of the danger of HIV and was practicing safe sex. Continually rising infection levels and still limited treatment options slowly shattered the optimism of the early 90's. This led into the third phase that Rofes considers ongoing in 1996. The third phase is another phase of fear, but as opposed to the panic of the first fear phase, Rofes argues that modern queer communities are paralyzed. He cites sociological studies of disaster survivors and examines the legacy of the holocaust for historical parallels to the numbing that exists amongst gay communities. He says that the gay community is no longer dealing with the issue of HIV and the community is dying as the psychological affects of the HIV crisis continue unabated. Rofes focuses his analysis on the affects on mental health, sexuality, and community. In each section, Rofes suggests what he sees as the route to reviving the gay community.
The writing in the book is readable and interesting. I strongly recommend this book even to those who do not normally read books about queer issues. This is not another book about HIV; it is original and thought provoking. The book switches rapidly between first person, technical writing and very informal prose. The book is very accessible and very consuming.
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