Sex and Sensibility Stories of a Lesbian Generation

ISBN-10: 0520206746
ISBN-13: 9780520206748
Edition: 1997
Authors: Arlene Stein
List price: $31.95 Buy it from $5.12
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Description: In the first book to analyze shifts in lesbian identity, consciousness, and culture from the 1970s to the 1990s, Arlene Stein contributes an important chapter to the study of the women's movement and offers a revealing portrait of the exchange  More...

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Book details

List price: $31.95
Copyright year: 1997
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 4/2/1997
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 266
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.25" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.792
Language: English

In the first book to analyze shifts in lesbian identity, consciousness, and culture from the 1970s to the 1990s, Arlene Stein contributes an important chapter to the study of the women's movement and offers a revealing portrait of the exchange between a radical generation of feminists and its successors. Tracing the evolution of the lesbian movement from the bar scene to the growth of alternative families, Stein illustrates how a generation of women transformed the woman-centered ideals of feminism into a culture and a lifestyle. Sex and Sensibilityrelates the development of a "queer" sensibility in the 1990s to the foundation laid by the gay rights and feminist movements a generation earlier. Beginning with the stories of thirty women who came of age at the climax of the 70s women's movement--many of whom defined lesbianism as a form of resistance to dominant gender and sexual norms--Stein explores the complex issues of identity that these women confronted as they discovered who they were and defined themselves in relation to their communities and to society at large. Sex and Sensibilityends with interviews of ten younger women, members of the post-feminist generation who have made it a fashion to dismiss lesbian feminism as overly idealistic and reductive. Enmeshed in Stein's compelling and personal narrative are coming-out experiences, questions of separatism, work, desire, children, and family. Stein considers the multiple identities of women of color and the experiences of intermittent and "ex" lesbians. Was the lesbian feminist experiment a success? What has become of these ideas and the women who held them? In answering these questions, Stein illustrates the lasting and profound effect that the lesbian feminist movement had, and continues to have, on contemporary women's definitions of sexual identity.

Arlene Stein is associate professor of sociology and women's studies at Rutgers University. She is the author of The Stranger Next Door: The Story of a Small Community's Battle Over Sex, Faith, and Civil Rights, winner of the Ruth Benedict Prize from the American Anthropological Association, an Honor Award from the American Library Association and a Gustavus Meyer Human Rights Book Award, Honorable Mention.

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Questions of Identity
From Old Gay to New: Symbolic Struggles and the Politics of Lesbian Identity
Difference, Desire, and the Self: Three Stories
Becoming Lesbian: Identity Work and the Performance of Sexuality
Is She or Isn't She? Constructionism and the Problem of Commitment
Sex, Kids, and Therapy: The Decentering of Lesbian Feminism
Sleeping with the Enemy? Ex-Lesbians and the Reconstruction of Identity
Seventies Questions for Nineties Women
Appendix: Methodological Notes
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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