<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

Symbolic interactionism

Interactionists focus on the meanings associated with sexuality and with sexual orientation. Since femininity is devalued in U.S. society, those who adopt such traits are subject to ridicule; this is especially true for boys or men. Just as masculinity is the symbolic norm, so too has heterosexuality come to signify normalcy. Prior to 1973, the American Psychological Association (APA) defined homosexuality as an abnormal or deviant disorder. Interactionist labeling theory recognizes the impact this has made. Before 1973, the APA was powerful in shaping social attitudes toward homosexuality by defining it as pathological. Today, the APA cites no association between sexual orientation and psychopathology and sees homosexuality as a normal aspect of human sexuality (APA 2008).

Interactionists are also interested in how discussions of homosexuals often focus almost exclusively on the sex lives of gays and lesbians; homosexuals, especially men, may be assumed to be hypersexual and, in some cases, deviant. Interactionism might also focus on the slurs used to describe homosexuals. Labels such as “queen” and “fag” are often used to demean homosexual men by feminizing them. This subsequently affects how homosexuals perceive themselves. Recall Cooley’s “looking-glass self,” which suggests that self develops as a result of our interpretation and evaluation of the responses of others (Cooley 1902). Constant exposure to derogatory labels, jokes, and pervasive homophobia would lead to a negative self-image, or worse, self-hate. The CDC reports that homosexual youths who experience high levels of social rejection are six times more likely to have high levels of depression and eight times more likely to have attempted suicide (CDC 2011).

Queer theory

Queer Theory is an interdisciplinary approach to sexuality studies that identifies Western society’s rigid splitting of gender into male and female roles and questions the manner in which we have been taught to think about sexual orientation. According to Jagose (1996), Queer [Theory]focuses on mismatches between anatomical sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation, not just division into male/female or homosexual/hetereosexual. By calling their discipline “queer,” scholars reject the effects of labeling; instead, they embraced the word “queer” and reclaimed it for their own purposes. The perspective highlights the need for a more flexible and fluid conceptualization of sexuality—one that allows for change, negotiation, and freedom. The current schema used to classify individuals as either “heterosexual” or “homosexual” pits one orientation against the other. This mirrors other oppressive schemas in our culture, especially those surrounding gender and race (black versus white, male versus female).

Queer theorist Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick argued against U.S. society’s monolithic definition of sexuality and its reduction to a single factor: the sex of someone’s desired partner. Sedgwick identified dozens of other ways in which people’s sexualities were different, such as:

Questions & Answers

Hindi language sociology
Pankajkumar Reply
Please can someone help me out with definition of crime by various authors..
Ogidi Reply
what are the contemporary issues confronting Nigeria political system?
Ayewa Reply
one argment in favour of the traditionalists is that human behaviour is subjected to what
Wanogho
empirical evidence
Mohamed
what is social psychology
ABBA Reply
the scientific study of the human mind and its functions, especially those affecting behaviour in a given context.
MUBARAK
please what is the history of sociology in the society
Mustapha
what are the views of Karl Marx on nature of human nature, nature of society and how society works
AGNES Reply
what are the sociological concepts
Mustapha Reply
I'm glad to be part of this noble group.
Alaro Reply
😆😆😆😆
Nyasha
what
Bobby
sorry they were emojis that came out like that
Nyasha
😆😆😆😆😆😆😆😆
Nyasha
it's ok
Bobby
I think we should text only sociology,, not personal,,,,
Zubair
hello
Grace
Hello
abhay
Hello
Arxoo
it depends
Lokesh
what are the agents of socialization
MARSHAL Reply
family friends schoolmates peer groups
Nyasha
The school, mass media, home etc
Appiah
workmates
Marvin
what factors prompted the development of sociology of education
Faith Reply
factors that prompted the development of sociology of education
Faith
sociology my febarit subject
Bp
factory working culture, nuclear family, industrialization etc
Zubair
Relevant of anthropology
Sani Reply
effect of fgm on health
Nana Reply
What is collective behavior
Riaz Reply
COLLECTIVE BEHAVIOUR Behaviour in crowds and mobs that occurs when the usual norms are suspended.
Mary
How does climate affect human behaviour
Amanda Reply
discuss the five factors that promotes national conciousness unity and integrity in nageria? .com
Abubakar Reply
Auguste comte definition
sanjay Reply
What is definition
sanjay
what is his definition
Jorge
what is the definition?
Ebube

Get the best Introduction to sociol... course in your pocket!





Source:  OpenStax, Introduction to sociology 2e. OpenStax CNX. Jan 20, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11762/1.6
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Introduction to sociology 2e' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask