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Essays, Gay and Lesbian Studies, Homosexuality, American Studies
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Dedicated to ``the gay men and lesbians of American intellectual life''--a collection of generally scholarly essays that examine the status, behavior, and values of some segments of the gay community, emphasizing changes that have occurred since 1969's Stonewall Riot. Editor Herdt (Psychology/Univ. of Chicago) opens with a heavily documented essay, co-authored by Andrew Baxter, surveying the history of the gay community and the challenges it faces now that it is emancipated from the connotations of homosexuality as furtive and diseased. Using the anthropological perspective of his Guardians of the Flute (1980), Herdt describes in a follow-up essay the rites of passage of adolescent gays at Horizon Community Center in Chicago. Focusing on an older group in ``The Life and Death of Gay Clones,'' Martin P. Levine tests ``constructionist theories'' of ``social types,'' attributing the disappearance of the ``doped- up, sexed-out Marlboro Man'' of the 70's to the ``ethics of constraint and commitment'' that altered the rest of society. Assimilation as a theme appears in all the essays--in studies of subcultures in Los Angeles (E. Michael Gorman) and San Francisco (Stephen O. Murray), even in the sexual history of a Mexican- American (Joseph Carrier). Lamenting the lack of data, John L. Peterson avoids the use of the term ``gay'' in his study of black men with ``same sex desires,'' claiming that many black men act them out without becoming gay. And effeminate men are of little interest to any of the essayists, who find that bars, gay parades, coming-out, and AIDS are among the few distinguishing features of a once highly adversarial counterculture--one that, Herdt says, is as diverse as the rest of the population, responding to the same economic and political pressures, including the decline of casual sex. Overall, ponderous and dry (though Carrier's ``Miguel: Sexual Life History of a Gay Mexican American'' proves a notable exception). -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.From Library Journal:
Herdt, a noted researcher in the field of homosexuality, has produced the first scholarly anthology on gay American males since Martin Levin's Gay Men ( LJ 4/1/79). In eight well-drawn essays written by prominent researchers in the field, Gay Culture in America probes into life in gay society, delving well beyond the stereotypes. Herdt and Andrew Boxer's introduction, which discusses the culture, history, and life course of gay men, provides an invaluable insight into the development of contemporary gay society and consciousness. The essays that follow treat such topics as black men, suburbanites, diversity within the gay community, demise of the "male clone" image, Mexican American males, and "coming out" as a rite of passage. Extensive bibliographies with select annotations are included with each essay. Highly recommended for gay studies collections and academic libraries.
- Michael A. Lutes, Univ. of Notre Dame Lib., Ind.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Houghton Mifflin Co, 1992. Library Binding. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0807079146
Book Description Beacon Press, 1992. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0807079146