Address correspondence to: Adam Isaiah Green, Department of Sociology, University of Toronto, 725 Spadina Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Tel.: (416) 978-8261. Fax: 416-978-3963. E-mail: AdamIsaiah.Green@UToronto.ca. Special thanks to Tim Hallett, Brian Powell, Jane McLeod, Elbert Almazan, Tina Fetner Bonnie Erickson, and the reviewers of this article at Sociological Theory for their most helpful comments. Work on this article was supported by the Indiana University and National Institute of Mental Health Postdoctoral Fellowship in Identity, Self, Role and Mental Health.
The Social Organization of Desire: The Sexual Fields Approach*
Version of Record online: 8 FEB 2008
2008 American Sociological Association
Volume 26, Issue 1, pages 25–50, March 2008
How to Cite
Green, A. I. (2008), The Social Organization of Desire: The Sexual Fields Approach. Sociological Theory, 26: 25–50. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9558.2008.00317.x
- Issue online: 8 FEB 2008
- Version of Record online: 8 FEB 2008
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.