Skip to main content

The Transformation of Intimacy: Sexuality, Love and Eroticism in Modern Societies



The Transformation of Intimacy: Sexuality, Love and Eroticism in Modern Societies

Anthony Giddens

ISBN: 978-0-745-66650-1 April 2013 Polity 220 Pages


The sexual revolution: an evocative term, but what meaning can be given to it today? How does 'sexuality' come into being and what connections does it have with the changes that have affected personal life on a more general plane? In answering these questions, Anthony Giddens disputes many of the dominant interpretations of the role of sexuality in modern culture. The emergence of what the author calls plastic sexuality - sexuality freed from its intrinsic relation to reproduction - is analysed in terms of the long-term development of the modern social order and social influences of the last few decades. Giddens argues that the transformation of intimacy, in which women have played the major part, holds out the possibility of a radical democratization of the personal sphere.

This book will appeal to a large general audience as well as being essential reading for students and professionals.



1. Everyday Experiments, Relationships, Sexuality.

2. Foucault on Sexuality.

3. Romantic Love and Other Attachments.

4. Love, Commitment and the Pure Relationship.

5. Love, Sex and Other Addictions.

6. The Sociological Meaning of Codependence.

7. Personal Turbulence, Sexual Troubles.

8. Contradictions of the Pure Relationship.

9. Sexuality, Repression, Civilisation.

10. Intimacy as Democracy.


'It is difficult to imagine social-scientific thought and practice in Britain and much of Continental Europe without the distinctive contribution of Anthony Giddens. His prolific work has the unique merit of tying together the rich tradition of modern social thought with the challenges of whatever is new and unprecedented in what he has called the 'late modern' or 'post-traditional' world.' Times Literary Supplement

'The major achievement of Professor Giddens is to have written a book which is both politically correct and interesting ... an immensely enjoyable book.' Political Studies

'Interesting and informative, thoughtful and thought provoking, concise and to the point.' Contemporary Sociology

'A powerful, and often brilliantly provocative, theory of how sexuality and gender are reproduced and transformed ... a model of theoretically informed, empirically based sociological analysis that will be of great interest to all those concerned with the trajectory of sexuality, gender, and identity in modern social processes.' The Times Higher Education Supplement