Why is it so hard to talk about sex and sexuality?
In this crisp and compelling book, Amin Ghaziani provides a pithy introduction to the field of sexuality studies through a distinctively cultural lens. Rather than focusing on sex acts, which make us feel flustered and blind us to a bigger picture, Ghaziani crafts a conversation about sex cultures that zooms in on the diverse contexts that give meaning to our sexual pursuits and practices. Unlike sex, which is a biological expression, the word 'sexuality' highlights how the materiality of the body acquires cultural meaning as it encounters other bodies, institutions, regulations, symbols, societal norms, values, and worldviews. Think of it this way: sex + culture = sexuality.
Sex Cultures offers an introduction to sexuality unlike any other. Its case-study and debate-driven approach, animated by examples from across the globe and across disciplines, upends stubborn assumptions that pit sex against society. The elegance of the arguments makes this book a pleasurable read for beginners and experts alike.
Chapter 1. The City
Chapter 2. Politics and Protest
Chapter 3. Heterosexualities
Chapter 4. Studying Sexuality
Conclusion: Culture Wars?
Steven Epstein, Professor of Sociology and John C. Shaffer Professor in the Humanities, Northwestern University
"This is the book we have been waiting for a comprehensive and engaging overview of the field of sexuality accessible to beginning students that also provides a concise and updated review of the field for graduate students. Beautifully written and insightful, Ghazianis text cleverly couches major theoretical perspectives and empirical questions in case studies that will be invaluable to both instructors and students."
Verta Taylor, Professor of Sociology and Feminist Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara
"Amin Ghaziani's Sex Cultures demonstrates how to bring LGBT Studies to a broad audience His central thesis is that sex and sexuality are not biologically determined, but only make sense through the lens of culture. Or, as Ghaziani schematizes it: 'Sex + Culture = Sexuality'...I can only hope that Ghaziani's book is widely adopted in classes and can enlighten a generation of youth, thus providing the revolutionary potential of mainstreaming LGBT studies.'"
The Gay and Lesbian Review
In his accessible new book, Sex Cultures, Ghaziani showcases his in-depth knowledge, his powerful analyses, and his clear, conversational writing style. These strengths make the text extremely useful to anyone interested in the study of sexuality, social change, or LGBTQ issues. Ghaziani provides a thorough overview of the existing knowledge about sexuality studies, while also advancing aspects of the field using a distinctly cultural approach Ghazianis book is an excellent read.
Kathryn Nutter-Pridgen, University of Alabama
"In Sex Cultures, sociologist Amin Ghaziani provides a smart, engaging and accessible introduction to thinking about sex in society. He begins with the premise that sexuality is the sum of 'sex plus culture', and proceeds to advocate propositions about the cultural expressions and analysis of sexuality that will resonate with a wide range of scholars. Drawing on a canon of scholarship from the social sciences and the humanities, along with a creative strategy of using an international set of 'case studies' to breathe life into those respective theories, he places culture in the drivers seat and thus at the centre of the production of sexuality [A] well-written, well-evidenced, and scintillating account.
Eric Anderson, British Journal of Sociology