Professor Celia Kitzinger, "The Social Construction of Lesbianism (Inquiries in Social Construction series)"
Sage Publications Ltd | 1988-02-01 | ISBN: 0803981163, 0803981171 | 240 pages | PDF | 13,2 MB
The old model of lesbianism as a pathological affliction has largely given way to a liberal social scientific one which presents it as an alternative lifestyle, a way of loving, a sexual preference, or a source of personal fulfillment.
This controversial book argues that the shift from ‘pathological’ to ‘gay affirmative’ research merely substitutes one depoliticized construction of lesbianism for another. The author contends that the liberal 'social construction', instead of furthering the liberation of women, represents a new development in the oppression of women in general and lesbians in particular. Gay affirmative constructions are fundamentally incompatible with radical feminist theory in which lesbianism is a political statement representing the bonding of women against male supremacy.
Two chapters use the literature on lesbianism and male homosexuality to illustrate the rhetorical techniques through which social science constructs the conditions for its own legitimacy. Kitzinger then draws upon her own research to show the operation of liberal ideology in the construction of lesbian identities, lesbian politics and in heterosexual attitudes to lesbians. In the final chapter, she urges researchers to reject the traditional model of science as an objective search for truth or facts, but instead to examine their own rhetoric and evaluate their political commitments.
The Social Construction of Lesbianism is a book which challenges many cherished beliefs held by social science researchers. Winner of the 1989 Distinguished Publication Award from the Association for Women in Psychology, it is essential reading for all feminists and for all scholars interested in the social construction of science.
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