Winner of the 2011 SLSA-Hart Socio-Legal Book Prize
Regulating Sexuality: Legal Consciousness in Lesbian and Gay Lives explores the impact that recent seismic shifts in the legal landscape have had for lesbians and gay men. The last decade has been a time of extensive change in the legal regulation of lesbian and gay lives in Britain, Canada and the US. Almost every area that the law impacts on sexuality has been reformed or modified. These legal developments combine to create a new, uncharted terrain for lesbians and gay men. And, through an analysis of their attitudes, views and experiences, this book explores the effects of these developments.
Drawing on—as well as developing—the concept of ‘legal consciousness’, Regulating Sexuality focuses on four different ‘texts’: qualitative responses to a large-scale online survey of lesbians’ and gay men’s views about the legal recognition of same sex relationships; published auto/biographical narratives about being and becoming a lesbian or gay parent; semi-structured, in-depth, interviews with lesbians and gay men about relationship recognition, parenting, discrimination and equality; and fictional utopian texts. In this study of the interaction between law and society in social justice movements, Rosie Harding interweaves insights from the new legal pluralism with legal consciousness studies to present a rich and nuanced exploration of the contemporary regulation of sexuality.
‘The book is a milestone of a sophisticated and nuanced socio-legal study that deepens and expands the scope of the existing research on the place of law in everyday queer lives’ - Antu Sorainen, University of Helsinki, Finland for Social & Legal Studies (2013)
1. Introduction: Law, Sexuality and Everyday Life 2. Legal Consciousness in Lesbian and Gay Lives 3. Reconsidering Resistance 4. From ‘Outlaws’ to ‘In-Laws’? 5. Stories of Law 6. Recognising Regulation 7. Imagining a Different World 8. Afterword
Within a broad geopolitical and intellectual landscape, this new, theoretically engaged, interdisciplinary series explores institutional and grassroots practices of social justice across a range of spatial scales. While the pursuit of social justice is as important as it has ever been, its character, conditions, values, and means of advancement are being radically questioned and rethought in the light of contemporary challenges and choices. Attuned to these varied and evolving contexts, Social Justice explores the complex conditions social justice politics confronts and inhabits – of crisis, shock, and erosion, as well as renewal and social invention, of change as well as continuity.
Foregrounding struggle, imagined alternatives and the embedding of new norms, the Social Justice series welcomes books which critically and normatively address the values underpinning new social politics, everyday forms of embodied practice, new dissident knowledges, and struggles to institutionalise change. In particular, the series seeks to explore state and non-state forms of organisation, analysing the different pathways through which social justice projects are put into practice, and the contests their practice generates. More generally, submissions are welcomed exploring the following themes:
• The changing politics of equality and social justice
• The establishment of alternative, organised sites and networks through which social and political experimentation take place
• The phenomenology of power, inequality and changing social relations
• Techniques of governance through which social change and equality agendas are advanced and institutionalised across different geographic scales
• Institutionalisation of new norms (through official and unofficial forms of institutionalisation) and struggles over them
• Practices of resistance, reversal, counter-hegemony and anti-normativity
• Changing values, practices, and the ways in which relations of inequality and difference are understood
Social Justice is intended as a critical interdisciplinary series, at the interface of law, social theory, politics and cultural studies. The series welcomes proposals that advance theoretical discussion about social justice, power, institutions, grass-roots practice and values/ ethics. Seeking to develop new conversations across different disciplines and fields, and working with wide-ranging methodologies, Social Justice seeks contributions that are open, engaging, and which speak to a wide, diverse academic audience across all areas of the law, social sciences and humanities.
For further information on the series, or to discuss a possible contribution, please contact the Series Editors at:
Davina Cooper, Kent Law School, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, UK
Tel: +44 (1227) 824172
Sarah Lamble, School of Law, Birkbeck College, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX
Tel: +44 (0)207 631 6017
Sarah Keenan, School of Law, Birkbeck College, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HX
Tel: +44 (0)207 631 6017