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Transgressive Sex: Subversion and Control in Erotic Encounters

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Volume 13

Fertility, Reproduction and Sexuality: Social and Cultural Perspectives

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Transgressive Sex

Subversion and Control in Erotic Encounters

Edited by Hastings Donnan and Fiona Magowan

290 pages, 5 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-84545-539-2 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (February 2009)

ISBN  978-0-85745-637-3 $34.95/£27.95 / Pb / Published (March 2012)

eISBN 978-1-84545-890-4 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“Hastings Donnan and Fiona Magowan have compiled a series of chapters on the cutting edge of sexuality and gender studies…All of the authors presented here are quite honest in narrating the challenges they experienced in undertaking difficult research subjects in often sensitive areas. The researchers and editors of the volume are to be commended for addressing such complex topics in an unessentialized manner and providing insight into areas of sexuality that are not often discussed.”  ·  American Ethnologist

“The twelve well-considered and researched papers in this volume are all based on empirical data spread across the globe from Ireland to Thailand. They deal with every possible location of sexuality, in kinship, in witchcraft, in national politics and in fieldwork to name some. The introduction to the volume highlights the theoretical concerns and salient points of discussion.”  ·  Anthropological Notebooks

“This book offers some challenging perspectives on sexual variability. Its chapters collectively make the case against diagnosing some manifestations of that variability as “healthier” than others -- a habit that still finds its way into pedagogy and clinical practice, even as it becomes rarer in anthropological theory. This book will be of interest to scholars interested in the comparative study of sexuality and would be a useful pedagogical tool for graduate and advanced undergraduate instruction in that field.”  ·  Medical Anthropology Quarterly


Sex is often regarded as a dangerous business that must be rigorously controlled, regulated, and subjected to rules. Sexual acts that defy acceptable practices may be seen as variously defiling, immoral, and even unnatural. They may challenge and subvert both cultural preconceptions and the social order in a politics of sexual transgression that threatens to transform permissible boundaries and restructure bodily engagements. This collection of essays explores acts of sexual transgression that have the power to reconfigure perceptions of bodily intimacy and the social norms of interaction. Considering issues such as domestic violence, child prostitution, health and sex, teenage sex, and sex with animals across a range of settings from contemporary Oceania, the Pacific, South Africa, and southeast Asia to Euro-America, this book should interest all those who question the "naturalness" of sex, including public health workers, clinical practitioners and students of sex, sexuality, and gender in the humanities and social sciences.

Hastings Donnan is Professor of Anthropology at Queen's University Belfast.

Fiona Magowan is Professor of Anthropology at Queen's University Belfast.

Subject: Medical Anthropology


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