As the world changes, so sexual identities are changing. In a context of globalisation, mass communication and technological advances, individuals find themselves able to make lifestyle choices in new and different ways. In this increasingly confusing world, sociologists have argued that identities are in flux, and that traditional patterns of identity and intimacy are being disrupted and reshaped, with all the implications for sexual identities that this suggests.
Changing Gay Male Identities draws on the powerful life stories of twenty-one gay men to explore how individuals construct and maintain their sense of self in contemporary society. The book draws upon theoretical debates on topics such as gender, performance, sex, class, camp, race and ethnicity, to explore four aspects of identity:
- the role of the body in who we are
- relationships and communities
- performing in everyday life
- reconciling different aspects of our selves (such as religion and sexuality).
In Changing Gay Male Identities Andrew Cooper assesses the magnitude of these social and sexual changes. He argues that although there are many opportunities for new forms of identity in a changing world, the possibilities can be significantly constrained, and that this has major implications for the freedoms and choices of individuals in contemporary societies. This book will be of interest to students and scholars of sociology, sexuality studies, gender studies, and GLBTQ studies.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments. 1. Fixing or Fracturing Identities 2. The Importance of Sexual Identities in a Changing World 3. Reconciling Identities 4. Performing Identities 5. Identities Embodied 6. Relational Identities 7. The Future of (Gay Male) Identities. Appendix 1: Methodology Used for the Research. Appendix 2: Profiles of the Men Interviewed. Bibliography
Andrew Cooper was awarded a PhD from London South Bank University for detailed research into the identity work carried out by gay men. His current research interests include sexuality and gender, identity, race and ethnicity, and social disadvantage.