Sociology of Sexualities

The details
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 5
Thursday 08 October 2020
Friday 02 July 2021
07 October 2020


Requisites for this module



Key module for


Module description

The prime concern of this course is to provide an introduction tothe sociology of sexualties, using the issues raised as a springboard for the analysis of wider concerns in the study of gender, intimacies and rights. The module will consider sociologically significant developments around the study of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender lives. Term one traces the development of lesbian and gay lives from the 1950s: cultures, identities, homophobia, sex wars, politics, law and rights etc and discusses key films that have provided a visual culture for such changes. A theoretical background of constructionism will be used. Term two looks at more recent developments through queer theory including kinship, globalisation, citizenship, heteronormativity, and queer feminism.

Module aims

Provisional Overview of Autumn term
Theories and approaches to the study of lesbian and gay life; Sexing and gendering visual culture; Cross-cultural images of same-sex behaviours; Homosexualities in Western culture and history; Gay politics: becoming visible; Sexual communities and cultures
Diseased sexualities: the challenges of HIV and AIDS; Sexual identities in conflict
Out of the representational closet; Gay liberation and beyond: some ideas for the future

Provisional Overview of Spring term
Introducing Queer Theory; Queer feminism; Queering Kinship: Rethinking Transgression; Sexing Citizenship: Sexual Dissidence and the Nation-State: Homo Economics: Sexuality, Employment and the Pink Economy: Sexuality and Space: Beyond the Queer Metropolis; The Heteronormative Gaze: Contemporary Queer Representations;
Sexuality and Globalization; Researching Sexualities: Notes from the Field

Module learning outcomes

To understand Sociology of Sexualities: Gender and Sexual Citizenship

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

No information available.


  • (2016) Introducing the new sexuality studies, Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Plummer, Kenneth. (c2003) Intimate citizenship: private decisions and public dialogues, Seattle: University of Washington Press.
  • (2012) Understanding global sexualities: new frontiers, Abingdon: Routledge. vol. Sexuality, culture and health series
  • Brickell, Chris. (2000-06) 'Heroes and Invaders: Gay and Lesbian pride parades and the public/private distinction in New Zealand media accounts', in Gender, Place & Culture. vol. 7 (2) , pp.163-178
  • Lyons, Andrew P.; Lyons, Harriet. (2011) Sexualities in anthropology: a reader, Malden, Mass: Wiley-Blackwell. vol. Blackwell Anthologies in Social and Cultural Anthropology
  • Gilbert Herdt. (1994) 'Notes and Queries on Sexual Excitement in Sambia Culture', in Etnofoor: Stichting Etnofoor., pp.25-41
  • Paasonen, Susanna; Nikunen, Kaarina; Saarenmaa, Laura. (2007) Pornification: sex and sexuality in media culture, Oxford: Berg.
  • Richardson, Diane; Seidman, Steven. (2002) Handbook of lesbian and gay studies, London: SAGE.
  • Puar, Jasbir K. (c2007) Terrorist assemblages: homonationalism in queer times, Durham: Duke University Press. vol. Next wave
  • Mepschen, Paul; Duyvendak, Jan Willem; Tonkens, Evelien H. (2010-10) 'Sexual Politics, Orientalism and Multicultural Citizenship in the Netherlands', in Sociology. vol. 44 (5) , pp.962-979
  • Watney, Simon. (1987-24) 'The Spectacle of AIDS', in October. vol. 43, pp.71-
  • Lisa M. Walker. (1993) 'How to Recognize a Lesbian: The Cultural Politics of Looking like What You Are', in Signs. vol. 18 (4) , pp.866-890
  • Abelove, Henry; Barale, Michèle Aina; Halperin, David M. (1993) The Lesbian and gay studies reader, New York: Routledge.
  • Mattson, Greggor. (2015-12) 'Style and the value of gay nightlife: Homonormative placemaking in San Francisco', in Urban Studies. vol. 52 (16) , pp.3144-3159
  • Weeks, Jeffrey. (2016) Coming out: the emergence of LGBT identities in Britain from the nineteenth century to the present, London: Quartet Books Limited.
  • Attwood, F. (2006-02-01) 'Sexed Up: Theorizing the Sexualization of Culture', in Sexualities. vol. 9 (1) , pp.77-94
  • (2016) Introducing the new sexuality studies, New York: Routledge.
  • Herman, D. (2005-02-01) ''I'm Gay': Declarations, Desire, and Coming Out On Prime-Time Television', in Sexualities. vol. 8 (1) , pp.7-29
  • Weeks, Jeffrey. (1977) Coming out: homosexual politics in Britain, from the nineteenth century to the present, London: Quartet Books.
  • Yue, A. (2008-02-01) 'Gay Asian Sexual Health in Australia: Governing HIV/AIDS, Racializing Biopolitics and Performing Conformity', in Sexualities. vol. 11 (1-2) , pp.227-244
  • Warner, M. (no date) Introduction: Fear of a Queer Planet.
  • Jaspal, Rusi; Williamson, Iain. (2017-05-02) 'Identity management strategies among HIV-positive Colombian gay men in London', in Culture, Health & Sexuality., pp.1-15
  • Gill, R. (2009-04-01) 'Beyond the 'Sexualization of Culture' Thesis: An Intersectional Analysis of 'Sixpacks', 'Midriffs' and 'Hot Lesbians' in Advertising', in Sexualities. vol. 12 (2) , pp.137-160
  • Sullivan, Nikki. (c2003) A critical introduction to queer theory, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
  • Binnie, Jon; Klesse, Christian. (2013-08) ''Like a Bomb in the Gasoline Station': East–West Migration and Transnational Activism around Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Politics in Poland', in Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies. vol. 39 (7) , pp.1107-1124
  • Brown, Gavin. (2009-06) 'Thinking beyond Homonormativity: Performative Explorations of Diverse Gay Economies', in Environment and Planning A. vol. 41 (6) , pp.1496-1510

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Essay 1   17/12/2020  50% 
Coursework   Essay 2  25/03/2021  50% 
Exam  1440 minutes during Summer (Main Period) (Main) 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
50% 50%


Coursework Exam
50% 50%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Roisin Ryan-Flood, email:
Dr Róisín Ryan-Flood
Jane Harper, Student Administrator email:, telephone: 01206 873052



External examiner

Dr Jennifer Fleetwood
Goldsmiths, University of London
Senior Lecturer in Criminology
Available via Moodle
Of 1951 hours, 14 (0.7%) hours available to students:
1937 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

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