Sociology and the problem of eroticism

Shilling, Chris and Mellor, Philip A. (2010) Sociology and the problem of eroticism. Sociology: the journal of the British Sociological Association, 44 (3). pp. 435-452. ISSN 0038-0385. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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Sociology has traditionally been concerned with problems of social order and meaning, and with how modern societies confronted these challenges when religion was in apparent decline, yet classical sociologists struggled to reconcile within their analyses the (dis)ordering and meaningful potentialities of eroticism. This article examines how eroticism has been viewed as a source of life-affirming meanings and as personally and socially destructive. Utilizing the contrasting theories of Weber and Bataille, we explore sociology's ambivalence towards eroticism, and criticize contemporary sociological approaches to the subject, before turning to the writings of Cixous, Irigaray and Kristeva for alternative models of the religiously informed eroticization of daily life. The perspectives these French theorists bring to the subject, and the issues that remain unresolved in their work, identify new lines of inquiry and re-emphasize the importance of building a sociology of eroticism that can address adequately its relationship to questions of order and meaning.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: classical sociology; embodiment; eroticism; French feminism; religion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Chris Shilling
Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2010 07:59
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2014 08:12
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