This site is under reconstruction and updating in the summer of 2021
This site is under reconstruction and updating in the summer of 2021

Category: Articles

Narrative Power

  NARRATIVE POWER: A SHORT INTERVIEW In this short interview, Ken Plummer tells a little about his new book. Q: Why did you write Narrative Power? Narrative has become a contemporary buzzword: everybody’s talking about it.  There’s now a vast amount of writing by academics in all kinds of different disciplines from literature and the…

Routledge International Handbook of Cosmopolitan Studies

The 2nd edition of The Routledge International Handbook o COSMOPOLITAN STUDIES edited by Gerard Delanty has just been published. It contains some 50 wide ranging original essays. I have a small contribution on COSMOPOLITAN SEXUALITIES s    

50 Years of Decriminalization? Still Queer After All These Years

  To mark the 50th Anniversary Changes in the law…… a recent  little piece written for the British Sociological Association Web site at: British Sociological Association: News: July 27th 50 Years of Decriminalization? Still Queer After All These Years On 27th July 1967, the Sexual Offences Act, ‘an act to amend the law of England…

New Article: On the Infinitude of Life Stories – Still Puzzling Queer Tales After All These Years

I have just published a new short article. This is an extract of an article published in QED: A Journal in GLBTQWorldmaking 4.1 (2017) p189-197.   FROM: Tony Adams and Derek Bolen eds ‘Queer Auto/ethnographies” Forum for QED: A Journal in GLBTQ Worldmaking. A Story of My Stories Over the years I have told many sexual stories.…

On Sondheim: An Opinionated Guide – A review

  On Sondheim: An Opinionated Guide By Ethan Mordden Oxford University Press, New York; xiii, 186 (pp216) ISBN 978-0199394814 Published January 21st 2016 Stephen Sondheim has been the mover and shaker of the modern musical for the past half-century. Widely honoured and celebrated, his work flags how the musical has evolved and become celebrated as…

Nine Years On: A Transplanted Life

This week marks the ninth anniversary of my liver transplant;  I have had nine more years of life than could have been expected in past times. I remain in awe at this life saving procedure and in permanent gratitude to my donor. But still there are many problems. There aren’t enough organs: up to 1,000…

The Making of the Modern Homosexual Revisited



‘The Making of the Modern Homosexual’ Revisited

 A discussion between Ken Plummer, Jeffrey Weeks and other contributors chaired by Gregg Blachford; with an update with Róisín Ryan-Flood was held in the Sociology Department at the University of Essex on Thursday March 19th 2015. The Making of the Modern Homosexual was published in June 1981 in hardback and paperback. The book was inspired by Mary McIntosh’s article ‘The Homosexual Role” Social Problems Vol. 16, No 2, Fall 1968 which was republished in the book and followed by a discussion. The book was developed in an early workshop, linked to an Open University Second Level Intro to Sociology Course (Study Section 8), and held at Essex in 1979. (The O.U. programme ran for over a decade, throughout the 1980’s.)

The Book ‘Blurb’

‘Is the “homosexual” a type of person that has been with us in various guises throughout history? Is he or she simply a “being” that we are slowly discovering and understanding better? Or is the “homosexual” simply an invention of our century? The authors of this original and important new work take this last view and argue that although “same-sex” sexual experiences may have existed throughout history, the notion of the “homosexual” is a peculiarly modern idea, which has profound consequences in the structuring of recent homosexual experiences. The essays in this book take the contemporary construction of the homosexual as their common concern’.

The Book Contents

Part One: The Making of a Sociology of Homosexuality

  1. Building a Sociology of Homosexuality (Ken Plummer)
  2. ‘The Homosexual Role’ (Mary McIntosh); with interview (McIntosh, Weeks, Plummer)

Part Two: Directions for Enquiry

  1. Homosexual Categories (Ken Plummer)
  2. Discourse, Desire And Sexual Deviance: Some Problems In The History Of Historiography (Jeffrey Weeks)
  3. Liberating Lesbian Research (Annabel Faraday)

Part Three: The Making Of The `Modern Male Homosexual: Explorations In Research

  1. Pansies, Perverts And Macho Men: Changing Conceptions Of Male Homosexuality (John Marshall)
  2. Gender Confusions: Psychological And Psychiatric Conceptions Of Transvestism And Transexualism (Dave King)
  3. Male Dominance And The Gay World (Gregg Blachford)

Appendices on Research

Some images from those early days -1980

A day meeting to discuss the book and organised by the Open University who used many images for their programme broadcast throughout the 1980’s. The photos show Jeffrey Weeks, Ken Plummer, Gregg Blachford, John Marshall, Mary McIntosh and Annabel Faraday.

ModernHgroup5 ModernHMgroup1 ModernHMannab&mary2 ModernHM John ModernHGregg&JohnModernHMary&AnnabelModernHgroupModernHKen&Jeff

Farewell Sexualities!

This issue marks the completion of the editorial changeover for the journal, a process that commenced in Autumn 2012. A list of the full new editorial team can be found listed on the inside cover. In this latest issue,  the departing editor and the incoming editors make some remarks. You can find the full link…

Obituary Mary McIntosh (1936-2013) by Jeffrey Weeks

The latest issue of the Journal Sexualities ( September 2013) has just been published. For those interested, I reprint  here an obituary for Mary McIntosh by Jeffrey  Weeks so it can be more widely accessible. ‘Obituary: Mary McIntosh 1936-2013’   Weeks, Jeffrey (2013)  Sexualities    16(5/6) 743-746 I first met Mary McIntosh, who has died…

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