Polity Press (Cultural Sociology Series), 2017
Why is it so hard to talk about sex and sexuality?
In this crisp and compelling book, Amin Ghaziani provides a pithy introduction to the field of sexuality studies through a distinctively cultural lens. Rather than focusing on sex acts, which make us feel flustered and blind us to a bigger picture, Ghaziani crafts a conversation about sex cultures that zooms in on the diverse contexts that give meaning to our sexual pursuits and practices.
“Sex Cultures is a wonderful introduction to how to think about sexuality today. Unlike so many sexuality textbooks, here’s a teaching resource that elegantly weaves its way through cultural codes, political programs, and moral debates.”
— Steven Epstein, Northwestern University
“This is the book we have been waiting for – a comprehensive and engaging overview of the field of sexuality accessible to beginning students that also provides a concise and updated review of the field for graduate students. Beautifully written and insightful, Ghaziani’s text cleverly couches major theoretical perspectives and empirical questions in case studies that will be invaluable to both instructors and students.”
— Verta Taylor, University of California, Santa Barbara
“What sort of a book is Sex Cultures? While it is constructed very differently from the author’s previous monographs, I cannot rightly say this is not a monograph unto itself. It offers original arguments and analysis, and it is based significantly on fieldwork, even if that fieldwork was primarily the basis for the previous volumes. Much of its argumentation is driven by theoretical and methodological claims, which are worthy of monographs unto themselves. I pose this question because the monograph is the most esteemed book form in the field. So, I want to say that this is indeed a monograph, but I also want to recognize that it is a unique sort of monograph that I would love to see a great deal more. In Sex Cultures, Ghaziani synthesizes a narrative from across his existing works, and then further synthesizes that narrative with the field of sexuality studies. The book essentially lays out an agenda for the field by staking claims about the pivotal contributions of the sociology of sexuality and the possibilities for future analysis.”
— Dustin Kidd, Temple University, Social Forces
“In Sex Cultures, sociologist Amin Ghaziani provides a smart, engaging and accessible introduction to thinking about sex in society. He begins with the premise that sexuality is the sum of ‘sex plus culture’, and proceeds to advocate propositions about the cultural expressions and analysis of sexuality that will resonate with a wide range of scholars. Drawing on a canon of scholarship from the social sciences and the humanities, along with a creative strategy of using an international set of ‘case studies’ to breathe life into those respective theories, he places culture in the driver’s seat and thus at the centre of the production of sexuality…[A] well-written, well-evidenced, and scintillating account.”
— Eric Anderson, University of Winchester, British Journal of Sociology
“Amin Ghaziani’s Sex Cultures demonstrates how to bring LGBT Studies to a broad audience…His central thesis is that sex and sexuality are not biologically determined, but only make sense through the lens of culture. Or, as Ghaziani schematizes it: ‘Sex + Culture = Sexuality’…I can only hope that Ghaziani’s book is widely adopted in classes and can enlighten a generation of youth, thus providing the revolutionary potential of mainstreaming LGBT studies.’”
— Vernon Rosario, UCLA, The Gay and Lesbian Review
“In his accessible new book, Sex Cultures, Ghaziani showcases his in-depth knowledge, his powerful analyses, and his clear, conversational writing style. These strengths make the text extremely useful to anyone interested in the study of sexuality, social change, or LGBTQ issues. Ghaziani provides a thorough overview of the existing knowledge about sexuality studies, while also advancing aspects of the field using a distinctly cultural approach. […] Ghaziani’s book is an excellent read.”
— Kathryn Nutter-Pridgen, University of Alabama, Sociation Today