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The Social Organization of Desire: The Sexual Fields Approach

Adam Isaiah Green
Sociological Theory
Vol. 26, No. 1 (Mar., 2008), pp. 25-50
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20453094
Page Count: 26
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The Social Organization of Desire: The Sexual Fields Approach
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Abstract

Modern urban life is increasingly characterized by specialized erotic worlds designed for sexual partnership and sexual sociality. In this article, I build on sociological theory developed in areas other than the sociology of sexuality to formulate a framework uniquely suited to the analysis of such modern erotic worlds--the sexual fields framework. Coupling Goffman's social psychological focus on situational negotiation with a Bourdieusian model of routine practice, the sexual fields framework highlights the relationship of interactional work to fields of objective relations wherein historically specific erotic schemas acquire a structural manifestation that erotic players must navigate. In so doing, the sexual fields approach advances a set of sensitizing concepts for identifying the structures of collective sexual life, and raises a set of new lines of sociological inquiry, including the relationship of sexual fields to both psychoanalytic and macro-level structures and processes.

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