Drawing on the example set by feminists, this textbook explores the problems of pursuing lesbian and gay political agendas within the present structure of democracy. Using an interdisciplinary approach, the author connects the analysis of lesbian and gay identities in sociology and cultural studies with the analysis of democracy in political theory. This paves the way for a consideration of the implications of sociological theories of sexuality for democratic theory and practice. Engaging with queer theory, the dominant perspective in the area of sexual identity and politics, the author offers a critique of many of the theorists - including Judith Butler and Diana Fuss - and directions within this field. This approach offers a broad focus on the issues of citizenship and legal, social and political policies with which queer theorists are involved. Up to date with current debates, this book reflects the need to return from an inaccessible level of abstract theory. It grounds ideas about sexuality in material and political realities by assessing the possibility of articulating a sociological view of the sexual self which can be translatedinto effective political strategies.
About the Author
The author's passion for his subject is evident throughout the book, three features of which are particularly welcome. First, the specifically sociological perspective he brings to a debate largely conducted under the umbrella of political or 'queer' theory; second, his serious consideration of symbolic interactionism as an alternative to Foucauldian understandings of the social construction of the subject; and third, the way in which the book directly addresses the needs of students approaching these debates for the first time...conversations between theorists and activists engaged in different struggles are to be warmly welcomed, most especially when they communicate with the clarity of expression and intellectual generosity displayed in this book.
This is an engagingly written, accessible text. It offers a thorough guide to existing theories of sexuality while giving them a new twist and taking the debate forward.
Sexuality and Democracy represents a forceful challenge to the essentialist discourses that still dominate much discussion of sexuality and gay and lesbian identities. ... Momin Rahman takes us through the complexities of social construction, feminist theory and queer theory with exemplary clarity and the end result is an open-ended and constantly stimulating contribution to both social theory and the understanding of political practice. Anyone interested in recent developments in theorising sexuality and gender or, more generally, in social theory and political action will welcome this new voice, one which is tough-minded but also generous and humane.
Rahman shows himself to be a fine theorist, able to maneuver through writings of different times and disciplines and tease out the consequences of ideas. The argument is both nuanced and meticulously constructed.