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The world has become cluttered with sexual stories. From child abuse scandals to lesbians and gays coming out; from Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas to the travails of Michael Jackson; from sexual surveys to therapy groups sexual talk has become more and more evident. Telling Sexual Stories explores the rites of a sexual storytelling culture. Taking three major examples rape stories, coming out stories, recovery stories it examines the nature of these newly emerging narratives and the socio historical conditions which give rise to them. It looks at the rise of the women's movement, the lesbian and gay movement and the 'recovery' movement as harbingers of significant social change that encourage the telling of new stories. In a powerful concluding section the book turns out to the wider concern of how story telling may be changing in a postmodern culture and how central such storytelling may be in the creation of a participatory democratic political culture. Telling Sexual Stories illustrates how 'the narrative turn' of cultural studies may be taken up within sociology. It suggests that a sociology of stories asks different questions about stories to those posed within cultural studies. The fascination with texts with narrative structure, genre and metaphor is now supplemented with questions around the social and political role that stories play; with the social processes through which they are constructed and consumed; with the political changes that stories may encourage. This book is a major contribution to our understanding of sexuality and cultures of intimacy.
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