Paper $24.95 ISBN: 9781783605125 Published May 2016 For sale in North and South America only
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9781783605132 Published May 2016 For sale in North and South America only

Sex, Needs, and Queer Culture

From Liberation to the Post-Gay

David Alderson

Sex, Needs, and Queer Culture

David Alderson

Distributed for Zed Books

256 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2016
Paper $24.95 ISBN: 9781783605125 Published May 2016 For sale in North and South America only
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9781783605132 Published May 2016 For sale in North and South America only
The belief of many in the early sexual liberation movements was that capitalism’s investment in the norms of the heterosexual family meant that any challenge to them was invariably anti-capitalist. In recent years, however, lesbian and gay subcultures have become increasingly mainstream and commercialized—as seen, for example, in corporate backing for pride events—while the initial radicalism of sexual liberation has given way to relatively conservative goals over marriage and adoption rights. Meanwhile, queer theory has critiqued this homonormativity, or assimilation, as if some act of betrayal had occurred.
 
In Sex, Needs and Queer Culture, David Alderson seeks to account for these shifts in both queer movements and the wider society, and he argues powerfully for a distinctive theoretical framework. Through a critical reassessment of the work of Herbert Marcuse, as well as the cultural theorists Raymond Williams and Alan Sinfield, Alderson asks whether capitalism is progressive for queers, evaluates the distinctive radicalism of the counterculture as it has mutated into queer, and distinguishes between avant-garde protest and subcultural development. In doing so, the book offers new directions for thinking about sexuality and its relations to the broader project of human liberation.
 
Contents
Acknowledgements
Introduction
1. Transitions
2. Is Capitalism Progressive (for Queers)?
3. Feeling Radical: Versions of Counterculture
4. Subculture and Postgay Dynamics
Postscripts
Index
Review Quotes
Jonathan Dollimore, author of Sex, Literature, and Censorship and Sexual Dissidence
“Honest, thoughtful and continuously insightful, Alderson’s socialist-humanist perspective and commitment to moving beyond the identity politics of recent times make this an indispensable book. The arguments have a clarity that reflects not just an ability to write well, but his own need to communicate something substantial and important.”
Stephen Maddison, University of East London
“A genuinely distinctive, highly considered, and important book. The writing is beautifully articulate, and it offers an ambitious and original contribution to queer theory.”
Michael G. Cronin, Maynooth University
“Erudite, elegantly written, and passionately argued, Sex, Needs and Queer Culture offers a timely and urgently needed reassessment of gay liberation. Alderson’s book will be an enriching and invaluable resource for all working in this field.”
Nina Power, author of One Dimensional Woman
“By placing the economic so directly next to the sexual, Sex, Needs and Queer Culture is able to cut through the ideologies of both the academy and the world at large. Alderson's careful eye avoids the excesses of one-sided polemic while remaining firmly critical, and he cleverly and optimistically re-opens the questions of freedom and liberation for an often all-too-cynical age.”
Richard Hornsey, University of Nottingham
“With nuance, passion and considerable lucidity, Alderson deftly examines the myths and realities of the one-dimensional gay. Sex, Needs and Queer Culture is an astute analysis of our contemporary moment, and a potent call to both reclaim and reinvigorate subcultural queer praxis.”
LSE Review of Books
“Alderson’s overview of queer theory and its relation to resistance, as well as his reading of the work of Marcuse, is thorough, absorbing, and readable for an audience beyond queer theory students and academics.”
Gender, Place and Culture
“Alderson offers an original, compelling and thought-provoking synthesis of work from political economy, political resistance and queer culture/ theory . . . theoretically sound, nuanced, and multifaceted historical analysis of gay lives.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
Google preview here