Yvonne Zylan

in States of Passion

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199735082
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199894802 | DOI:

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This introductory chapter sets out the purpose of the book, which is to explore the discursive effects of law on the constitution of sexual experience, expression, and identities. In doing so, it takes seriously the notion that law may profitably be read as a series of texts that serve to socially construct sex, gender, and the desiring body. However, agreeing with many poststructuralists, the chapter resists the suggestion that such texts exist in some imagined free-floating linguistic space. Rather, it contends that they are always embedded within specific institutions and, as such, are shaped, constrained, and enabled by the organizational features, mandates, and resources that serve to make up those institutions. And, like other constitutive theorists of law, it is argued that law not only speaks to us or for us, but also helps to constitute us in the first instance as social beings with distinct identities and passions. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.

Keywords: law; sexuality; sexual experience; poststructuralists; institutions

Chapter.  5051 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law

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