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ERIC Number: EJ938240
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Sep
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 48
ISSN: ISSN-0190-2725
Playing the (Sexual) Field: The Interactional Basis of Systems of Sexual Stratification
Green, Adam Isaiah
Social Psychology Quarterly, v74 n3 p244-266 Sep 2011
Recently, scholars have used a Bourdieusian theory of practice to analyze systems of sexual stratification, including an examination of sexual fields and sexual (or erotic) capital. While the broad structural features of the sexual field have been a point of focus in this latter research, a systematic analysis of the interactional processes that operate within the sexual status order has not been performed. In this paper, drawing on original data from an urban gay enclave, I identify six key interactional processes that occur within sexual fields, including: 1) actors' recognition that the sexual field is constituted by a set of relations anchored to competition and sexual selection; 2) the perception of a "generalized other" (Mead 1934) within the field, including knowledge concerning a given field's collective valuations of sexual attractiveness; 3) a formulation of one's own position within the sexual status order vis-a-vis intersubjective feedback and the development of a "looking-glass self" (Cooley 1902); 4) an assessment of others' positions within the sexual status order; 5) knowledge of "the game" (Goffman 1959)--including how to conduct a successful self-performance (ibid.), the construction of an optimizing front (ibid.) and proper field-specific demeanor (Goffman 1967); and finally, ideally, 6) the ability to "save face." In total, these interactional processes draw from and reproduce systems of sexual stratification, and are likely to generalize across sexual fields. (Contains 1 table and 5 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North America