28 - 31 August 2013
Torino, Italy

RN23 – Sexuality

Andrew King andrew.king@surrey.ac.uk University of Surrey, UK
Ana Cristina Santos cristina@ces.uc.pt Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra, Portugal

Crisis, Critique and Change: The Contribution of a Sociology of Sexuality

The theme of this year’s conference is crisis, critique and change. The sociology of sexuality is well placed to address these issues. Firstly, it has provided critiques of reductionist, ahistoric accounts of sexuality that continue to emanate from academia, across a range of disciplines, and which pervade public discourse. Secondly, sociology has traditionally explored crisis and change, including those associated with sexuality, as both personal troubles and public issues. Thirdly, theoretically and methodologically, the sociology of sexuality has developed critical tools that challenge taken-for-granted assumptions and ways of being.

We invite papers to address any of the following special sessions or indeed those who feel that they would prefer to be in an open stream. Our network is growing and developing all the time and this conference represents a key forum to come together and celebrate the significant contribution of sociology to the study of sexuality.


Joint Sessions

  • 01_23JS28JS33Sports, Gender and Sexualities (1)

    Joint session with RN33 – Women’s and Gender Studies and RN28 – Society and Sports

    Chair: Oktay Aktan <oktay.aktan@tu-dortmund.de>, University of Dortmunt Michael Meuser <michael.meuser@tu-dortmund.de>, University of Dortmunt Alessandro Porrovecchio <alessandro.porrovecchio@gmail.com>, University of the Littoral Opal Coast

    In team sports, the selection of a player for a team is not merely a technical decision. The player who can cope and harmonize with the collective team identity is chosen by the coach. Being suitable or to fit into the team is also a question of gender. In a homo-social dimension, especially among men, there is the question of how the process of choosing or to be chosen (re)produce a hierarchy of masculinities. In a hetero-social dimension the gender segregation is established from the beginning of the organized sport competitions, which harshly distinguishes the male and female teams and championships from each other. On the other hand, the formation of a team i.e. the constitution of collectivity for instance in amateur leisure sports and/or sports in schools can/may turn out to be a question of negotiation.

    With this in mind, we intend to organize a network session between sport and gender studies, to discuss the reflections of both intra- and inter-gender relations in sports on the progressive re-constellation of “gender” perception in society. The current social scientific approach of intersectionality including other dimensions of social inequality, such as ethnicity, milieu, religion etc. will also be of particular interest in our session.

  • 02_23JS28JS33Sports, Gender and Sexualities (2)

    Joint session with RN28 – Society and Sports and RN33 – Women’s and Gender Studies

    Alessandro Porrovecchio <alessandro.porrovecchio@gmail.com>, University of the Littoral Opal Coast Michael Meuser <michael.meuser@tu-dortmund.de>, University of Dortmunt Oktay Aktan <oktay.aktan@tu-dortmund.de>, University of Dortmunt

    Being expressions of cultural embodiment, both sexuality and sports can be analyzed as a mirror of societies’ transformations. For this reason the analysis of sports and sexuality can be a key to analyze changes in social interaction and collective representations.

    In order to contribute to these streams of research and to open new horizons for further investigation, we invite papers aimed at both understanding the relationships between sports and sexualities, and using them as a tool to analyse broader social transformations. For example: how have sports and physical cultures built their specificities, in particular with relation to genders and sexual differences and consequently to body-related social norms? How have sports’ institutions managed to include gender and sexual diversities (e.g. cases of intersexed and/or transgender athletes)? Which innovations can be observed in sport practices (techniques, dressing-codes, aesthetics, etc.) with relation to sexuality? To what extent have issues of sexual violence and homophobia amongst sport fans been successfully addressed? What are the contemporary challenges and opportunities when we consider the relationship between sports and sexuality? We encourage contributors to address questions of this sort, thus exploring the importance of gender and sexuality in sports’ research, and vice versa, examining how sports matters in sexuality research.

Thank you very much to all participants for making esa torino an outstanding conference.