Sincethe Stonewall Riots in 1969, the politics of sexual identity in America havedrastically transformed. It's almost old news that recent generations ofAmericans have grown up in a culture more accepting of out lesbians and gaymen, seen the proliferation of LGBTQ media representation, and witnessed theattainment of a range of legal rights for same-sex couples. But the changeswrought by a so-called "post-closeted culture" have not just affected the queercommunity-heterosexuals are also in the midst of a sea change in how theirsexuality plays out in everyday life. In Straights,James Joseph Dean argues that heterosexuals can neither assume the invisibilityof gays and lesbians, nor count on the assumption that their ownheterosexuality will go unchallenged. The presumption that we are allheterosexual, or that there is such a thing as `compulsory heterosexuality,' heclaims, has vanished.
Based on 60 in-depth interviews witha diverse group of straight men and women, Straights explores how straight Americans make sense of their sexual and genderedselves in this new landscape, particularly with an understanding of how racedoes and does not play a role in these conceptions. Dean provides a historicalunderstanding of heterosexuality and how it was first established, then moveson to examine the changing nature of masculinity and femininity and, mostimportantly, the emergence of a new kind of heterosexuality-notably, for men,the metrosexual, and for women, the emergence of a more fluid sexuality. Thebook also documents the way heterosexuals interact and form relationships withtheir LGBTQ family members, friends, acquaintances, and coworkers. Althoughhomophobia persists among straight individuals, Dean shows that beinggay-friendly or against homophobic expressions is also increasingly commonamong straight Americans. A fascinating study, Straights provides an in-depth look at the changing nature ofsexual expression in America.Instructors: PowerPoint slides for each chapter are available by clicking on the files below. Introduction
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780814764596
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James Joseph Dean is Associate Professor of Sociology at Sonoma State University. His research focuses on the sociology of sexualities, particularly the sociology of heterosexualities. Dean's work has appeared in Sexualities, The Sociological Quarterly, and Sociology Compass, among others.
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