Profit and Pleasure, Second Edition is a classic intervention into the relationship between capitalism and sexual identity. Rosemary Hennessy boldly reorients queer theory toward an up-close analysis of the structures of consumption, labor, and commodification, revealing how sexual identity—in the varied ways it has been culturally differentiated and lived—has been fundamentally affected by these principles of capitalism.
In this second edition, a new introduction by the author reasserts a Marxist feminist standpoint as the most theoretically developed feminist analysis of capitalism’s cultural logics. She presents a range of key concepts—among them totality, overdetermination, social reproduction—outlining their evolution and continued relevance to analysis of sexuality since the book’s first publication in 2000. The introduction addresses important developments in materialist approaches to sexuality during the past two decades and concludes by returning to the notion of "love" as defined in the original edition, making a call for the common potential of human collaboration and action to ignite a radical sexual politics.
This seminal text will appeal to students and scholars of feminist studies, gay and lesbian studies, and cultural and literary studies.
Table of Contents
Author Introduction to 2nd edition 1. Setting the Terms 2. The Matrial of Sex 3. Cultural Studies, Commodity Logic, New Sexual Subjects 4. Queer Visibility in Commodity Culture 5. Ambivalence as Alibi: Reading The Crying Game 6. Desire as a Class Act: Lesbian in Late Capitalism 7. Identity, Need, and the Making of Revolutionary Love Works Cited Index
Rosemary Hennessy is the L. H. Favrot Professor of Humanities and Professor of English at Rice University, USA. She is the author of Materialist Feminism and the Politics of Discourse and of Fires on the Border: The Passionate Politics of Labor Organizing on the Mexican Frontera. She is also Co-Editor of Materialist Feminism: A Reader in Class, Difference, and Women’s Lives and of Nafta from Below.
"This new edition of Profit and Pleasure offers a poignant reminder that left critical thought does not need to choose between the so-called old and new materialisms. Using Marxist feminism as ‘living’ theory, Rosemary Hennessy tracks the intersections of structure and affect, identity and consumption, and nation and globe to reveal the ongoing intimacies between capitalism and sex." Robyn Wiegman, Professor of Literature and Women’s Studies, Duke University, USA
"We might finally be catching up with this book. Impatience with maps of the present that fail to articulate sexuality and capital has become increasingly widespread, and the political costs of such failure harder to miss. Nearly twenty years after Profit and Pleasure first appeared, it is clear that this book was ahead of its time – and that its time is now." Kevin Floyd, author of The Reification of Desire and Associate Professor of English at Kent State University, USA
"One of less than a handful of extended critical examinations of the relationship between sexuality and capitalism, Profit and Pleasure is a prescient engagement with the nexus of desire, affect, and neoliberal capitalism. Hennessy’s valuable new introduction acknowledges and situates the book in relation to more recent scholarship as well as changes in the political-economic context. But the original work stands on its own." Miranda Joseph, Professor, Gender and Women’s Studies, University of Arizona, USA