Registration is still open for the European Sociological Association Sexuality Research Network (RN23) Mid-Term Conference: “Sexuality in Theory and Practice”.
Kingston University, London, UK - 14th -15th January 2013
Keynote Speakers: Professor Brian Heaphy, University of Manchester, UK and Dr Meg Barker, Open University, UK
This mid-term conference brings together researchers working in the field of sexuality throughout Europe and beyond to ask a fundamental question: what theories and research methodologies do we use to research sexuality in the twenty-first century? More simply, where are we at?
Why this topic, now?
It is twenty years since queer theory first appeared, challenging us to question the very centre of our research and the theories on which it was founded. Queer theory disconcerted as much as it enthused. Yet for some it remained an abstract, largely discursive approach that ignored many of the important insights made by earlier generations of sociologists. More recently, new forms of materialist analysis have become more prominent. Intersectionality has become a defining feature of much sexuality research over the last ten years. Others still have continued to draw on micro-sociological theories, particularly interactionism, whilst psychoanalytic theories continue to be central for many. What use are these and other theories? Does sexuality research have any defining theoretical characteristics or is plurality one of its strengths?
Similarly, how do we study sexuality? What methods do we use? What impact, if any, has the increase in mixed methodologies had on the study of sexuality? Is sexuality research still largely defined by qualitative approaches? With people’s increasing use of social media and cyber worlds, what opportunities and problems do these create for researchers of sexuality? To what extent, if any, do we promote participants’ engagement with our studies, in line with emancipatory research? How are we innovating, methodologically, in the study of sexuality? And how can our theoretical and methodological choices enable wider dissemination and social impact?
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