The Social Organization of Desire: The Sexual Fields Approach

Sociological Theory 26 (1):25 - 50 (2008)
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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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Outline of a Theory of Practice.Pierre Bourdieu - 1972 - Human Studies 4 (3):273-278.
Human Capital.Gary S. Becker - 1984 - Journal of Business Ethics 3 (2):111-112.
The phenomenological habitus and its construction.Nick Crossley - 2001 - Theory and Society 30 (1):81-120.

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