Category: Intimate citizenship

The Making of the Modern Homosexual Revisited

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‘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

Transplants and the Total Life Experience: On the 10th Anniversary of ‘Becoming Ill’

          Today, March 9th, marks the 10th anniversary of my ‘illness’. It is this day in 2005 I was rushed to hospital in Santa Barbara, diagnosed with ‘alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver’, told to give up drink or die. It was also the day I first heard the word ‘transplant’ It…

End Violence Against Women

  Today is ‘End Violence Against Women’ Day – and runs for the next two weeks ( and forever!). The Issue To raise awareness and trigger action to end the global scourge of violence against women and girls, the UN observes International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November. The 16…

The Marrying Kind: a book review

  The Marrying Kind. Edited by Mary Bernstein and Verta Taylor. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2013. Pp 432   $25.00pb $75.00 cloth Reviewed by Ken Plummer in the American Journal of Sociology Vol. 19, No 6, May 2014. p1765-7. Gay Marriage was scarcely a whisper twenty years ago. Now it has become a global public…

Telling Sexual Stories Twenty Years On: Fragments Towards A Humanist Politics Of Storytelling

  I gave this lecture at the Huddersfield Conference TROUBLING NARRATIVES: IDENTITY MATTERS on June 20th 2014.   In this lecture I revisited my study Telling Sexual Stories, published nearly twenty years ago. I began by considering the background – how it came to be written. I then asked what its original contributions might have…

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…

Charting Gay Rights Around The World

I am working at present on constructing a resource of web sites for a book I am working on. Prompted by an article in the Guardian on world gay rights, I checked out these web sites which are really very useful. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jul/30/gay-rights-world-best-worst-countries So here  are a few web sites International Lesbian and Gay Association http://ilga.org/…

Some Recent Presentations

Handouts for recent presentations       Today I have posted some summary handouts of recent lectures that I have given.   The first was given  at a lecture for Spanish sociologists.  I launched the manifesto for Critical Humanism at that time; and this was the handout I gave them as I lectured to powerpoints.…

Ending India’s War on Women

Posted: 3 January 2013 Damini*, a 23-year-old student from Delhi, didn’t live to see 2013 — she died two days before the new year following a horrific gang rape on a bus in Delhi. Her case has sparked outrage across the world, and if enough of us act now, this tragedy could be the beginning of the end for India’s…

This week I am launching the first draft of 

A MANIFESTO FOR A CRITICAL HUMANISM IN

SOCIOLOGY

ON QUESTIONING THE HUMAN SOCIAL WORLD

  

 First Presented at the VI Congreso Andaluz de Sociologiá, University of Cadiz, November 2012

To be published in Daniel Nehring: Sociology: A Text and Reader ( Pearson, 2013).

This is the first edition; it is now under revision for a 2nd version. Comments are welcome

Contact Ken Plummer at plumk@essex.ac.uk

you can find it by clicking here: Manifesto


We can know only that we know nothing. And that is the highest degree of human wisdom. Leo Tolstoy War and Peace, 1869

These then are my last words to you. Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact. William James:  The Will to Believe. 1896

 

SUMMARY

      1. Prologue: A very human animal in an all too human world
      2. On the Human Search for Meaning
      3. On Sociology
      4. The Challenge of Humanism
      5. Righting the Troubles with Humanism
      6. On Critical Humanism
      7. The Human Condition: Obdurate Features of the Human World
      8. On Human Potentials, Capabilities and Rights
      9. The Challenge of Plural Worlds, Ethnocentrism and Cosmopolitanism
      10. On Becoming Human: The Process of Humanization
      11. A Sociology of the People:  Being Practical and Pursuing the Wise Society
      12. We are the Story Telling Animals
      13. The Politics and ethics of Humanism: Living a Better Life and Making a Better World
      14. Dark Hope and Dreaming Ahead in Perpetually Troubled Timers: Key Directions For a Future Humanistic Agenda
      15. Further Reading

        YOU CAN FIND THE FULL MANIFESTO BY  CLICKING ON MANIFESTOS

 

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