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Seeing Straight introduces students to key concepts in gender and sexuality through the lens of privilege and power. After an accessible overview, the book asks students to examine the privilege inherent in approaching heterosexual and cisgender identities as “normal,” as well as the problems of treating queer gender and sexuality as “abnormal.” Compelling real-life examples illustrate theory and empirical research, revealing phenomena that shape not only students’ own lives, but also their communities, their country, and the field of gender studies itself. The book addresses tough topics like hate, violence, and privilege, and it also considers institutionalized heteronormativity through the military, law, religion, and more. The book ends with a chapter called “It’s Getting Better” that presents evidence for queer hope and courage. Filled with compelling true stories, this book is an ideal introduction to gender and sexuality that encourages students to question their own assumptions.
Privilege is about more than being white, wealthy, and male—as Michael Kimmel, Abby Ferber, and a range of contributors make clear in this timely anthology. In an era when “diversity” is too often shorthand for “of color” and/or “female,” the personal and analytical essays in this collection explore the multifaceted nature of social location and consider how gender, class, race, sexual orientation, (dis)ability, and religion interact to create nuanced layers of privilege and oppression. The individual essays—taken together—guide students to a deep understanding of the dynamics of diversity and stratification, advantage, and power. The fourth edition features thirteen new essays that help students understand the intersectional nature of privilege and oppression and has new introductory essays to contextualize the readings. These enhancements, plus the updated pedagogical features of discussion questions and activities at the end of each section, encourage students to examine their own beliefs, practices, and social location.
"Seeing White is designed to help break down some of the resistance students feel in discussing race. Each chapter opens with compelling concrete examples to help students approach issues from a range of perspectives. The early chapters build a solid understanding of privilege and power, leading to a critical exploration of discrimination. Key theoretical perspectives include cultural materialism, critical race theory, and the social construction of race."--pub. desc.
In the mid-1990s, scholars turned their attention toward the ways that ongoing political, economic, and cultural transformations were changing the realm of the social, specifically that aspect of it described by the notion of affect: pre-individual bodily forces, linked to autonomic responses, which augment or diminish a body's capacity to act or engage with others. This "affective turn" and the new configurations of bodies, technology, and matter that it reveals, is the subject of this collection of essays. Scholars based in sociology, cultural studies, science studies, and women's studies illuminate the movement in thought from a psychoanalytically informed criticism of subject identity, representation, and trauma to an engagement with information and affect; from a privileging of the organic body to an exploration of non-organic life; and from the presumption of equilibrium-seeking closed systems to an engagement with the complexity of open-systems under far-from-equilibrium conditions. Taken together, these essays suggest that attending to the affective turn is necessary to theorizing the social.
A roadmap to sex and gender for the twenty-first century, using Lady Gaga as a symbol for a new kind of feminism Why are so many women single, so many men resisting marriage, and so many gays and lesbians having babies? In Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal, J. Jack Halberstam answers these questions while attempting to make sense of the tectonic cultural shifts that have transformed gender and sexual politics in the last few decades. This colorful landscape is populated by symbols and phenomena as varied as pregnant men, late-life lesbians, SpongeBob SquarePants, and queer families. So how do we understand the dissonance between these real lived experiences and the heteronormative narratives that dominate popular media? We can embrace the chaos! With equal parts edge and wit, Halberstam reveals how these symbolic ruptures open a critical space to embrace new ways of conceptualizing sex, love, and marriage. Using Lady Gaga as a symbol for a new era, Halberstam deftly unpacks what the pop superstar symbolizes, to whom and why. The result is a provocative manifesto of creative mayhem, a roadmap to sex and gender for the twenty-first century, that holds Lady Gaga as an exemplar of a new kind of feminism that privileges gender and sexual fluidity. Part handbook, part guidebook, and part sex manual, Gaga Feminism is the first book to take seriously the collapse of heterosexuality and find signposts in the wreckage to a new and different way of doing sex and gender.
A straight white girl can kiss a girl, like it, and still call herself straight—her boyfriend may even encourage her. But can straight white guys experience the same easy sexual fluidity, or would kissing a guy just mean that they are really gay? Not Gay thrusts deep into a world where straight guy-on-guy action is not a myth but a reality: there’s fraternity and military hazing rituals, where new recruits are made to grab each other’s penises and stick fingers up their fellow members’ anuses; online personal ads, where straight men seek other straight men to masturbate with; and, last but not least, the long and clandestine history of straight men frequenting public restrooms for sexual encounters with other men. For Jane Ward, these sexual practices reveal a unique social space where straight white men can—and do—have sex with other straight white men; in fact, she argues, to do so reaffirms rather than challenges their gender and racial identity. Ward illustrates that sex between straight white men allows them to leverage whiteness and masculinity to authenticate their heterosexuality in the context of sex with men. By understanding their same-sex sexual practice as meaningless, accidental, or even necessary, straight white men can perform homosexual contact in heterosexual ways. These sex acts are not slippages into a queer way of being or expressions of a desired but unarticulated gay identity. Instead, Ward argues, they reveal the fluidity and complexity that characterizes all human sexual desire. In the end, Ward’s analysis offers a new way to think about heterosexuality—not as the opposite or absence of homosexuality, but as its own unique mode of engaging in homosexual sex, a mode characterized by pretense, dis-identification and racial and heterosexual privilege. Daring, insightful, and brimming with wit, Not Gay is a fascinating new take on the complexities of heterosexuality in the modern era.

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