Non-Fiction Books:

Telling Sexual Stories

Power, Change and Social Worlds


Paperback / softback

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Telling Sexual Stories by Ken Plummer
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The world has become cluttered with sexual stories. From child abuse scandals to lesbian and gays coming out; from Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas to the travails of Michael Jackson; from sexual surveys to therapy groups - sexual talk has become more and more evident. This book explores the rites of a sexual story-telling culture. Taking three major examples - rape stories, coming-out stories, recovery stories - it examines the nature of these newly emerging narratives and the socio-historical conditions which have given rise to them. It looks at the rise of the women's movement, the lesbian and gay movement and the 'recovery' movement as harbingers of significant social change that encourage the telling of new stories. In a powerful concluding section, the book turns to the wider concern of how story telling may be changing in a postmodern culture and how central it may be in the creation of a participatory democratic political culture. Ken Plummer illustrates how 'the narrative turn' of cultural studies may be taken up within sociology and suggests that a sociology of stories asks different questions about stories from those posed within cultural studies. The fascinati with texts - with narrative structure, genre and metaphor - is now supplemented with questions around the social and political role that stories play, with the social processes through which they are constructed and consumed, with the political changes that stories may encourage. Telling Sexual Stories is a major contribution to our understanding of sexuality and the cultures of intimacy. Ken Plummer is Reader in Sociology at Essex University.
Release date NZ
December 8th, 1994
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
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