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Critique Nonfiction Social Sciences Theory

Thinking Sex/Thinking Gender

By Annamarie Jagose and Don Kulick, 2004

Many of the key debates and conceptual overhauls that have animated lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) studies over the last ten years or so might be broadly described in terms of their common interest in specifying the proper relations between gender and sexuality. If LGBTQ studies initially insisted on a clear distinction between gender and sexuality, that cleavage was subsequently contested by many who objected to the normalizing capacity of any neat quarantining of the cultural work of sexuality and gender. Ensuing discussions of what was at stake in adjudicating the relative independence or imbrication of gender and sexuality gave critical heft to a range of terms such as gender performativity, butch/femme gender, female masculinity, and transgender subjectivities, whose implications are still shaping the direction of sexuality studies.

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