By David Evans
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Extra resources for Sexual Citizenship
Masculine sexuality by comparison is relatively free from alliance constraints just as male labour is waged, public, alienated and free. Propagation as the first sexual commodity determines that female waged labour will initially be less free and of lower value than that of men. Given that other sexual minorities deviate from this primary sexual commodity form and are accordingly constructed out of their supposed gendered as well as sexual differences their labour too, is potentially less free and of lower value than that of men, as well as qualitatively different to that of both men and women.
Whilst Foucault ‘does not help illuminate the difficulties in personal and sexual relations or the problems people face in changing themselves’ (p. g. ‘deviant sexual socialisation is so well acounted for that one can barely see the overall pressures towards conformity’ (Barrett 1989:61). This is the major deficiency of symbolic interactionism. The world is seemingly one of flux, fluidity and unstable unpredictable negotiation. Certainly attempts have been made to calm down the hyperactivity of the world and its citizens through the disposition of such artificial sounding stabilisers as ‘self-lodging’ (Denzin 1971), ‘commitment’ (Becker 1971), ‘perspective’ (Becker 1971) and ‘emergence’ (Plummer 1975), whereby through actors’ familiarisation with recurrent meanings and adopted solutions, their recurrent investment of energy in actions which make the adoption of alternatives costly, the actors’ world is stabilised into one ‘taken for granted’ (Schutz 1962 referred to in Plummer 1975:16), experienced in routinised and unquestioned ways.
His ‘one-dimensional man’ (p. 10) needs to buy, possess and consume, in the process perpetuating conformity and alienation, whilst sharing his consuming passion with everyone else: ‘mass consumption claim[s] the entire individual’ (Fromm 1955:131), the ‘process of consumption…as alienated as the process of production’ (p. 120). Through it we become more alone and isolated, tools in the hands of overwhelmingly strong forces outside of ourselves; ‘individuals’ but bewildered insecure individuals, our insecurities soothed by the transient pleasures of self purchase, ‘idiots’ of McLuhan’s Brave New Global Village (Sturnock in Independent on Sunday 8 July 1990).