The Trouble with Nature

Sex in Science and Popular Culture
Ebook
(455 Seiten)
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ISBN-13:
9780520936799
Einband:
Ebook
Seiten:
455
Autor:
Roger N. Lancaster
eBook Typ:
Adobe Digital Editions
Kopierschutz:
Adobe DRM [Hard-DRM]
Sprache:
Englisch
Beschreibung:

Roger N. Lancaster provides the definitive rebuttal of evolutionary just-so stories about men, women, and the nature of desire in this spirited exposé of the heterosexual fables that pervade popular culture, from prime-time sitcoms to scientific theories about the so-called gay gene. Lancaster links the recent resurgence of biological explanations for gender norms, sexual desires, and human nature in general with the current pitched battles over sexual politics. Ideas about a "hardwired" and immutable human nature are circulating at a pivotal moment in human history, he argues, one in which dramatic changes in gender roles and an unprecedented normalization of lesbian and gay relationships are challenging received notions and commonly held convictions on every front.

The Trouble with Nature takes on major media sources—the New York Times, Newsweek—and widely ballyhooed scientific studies and ideas to show how journalists, scientists, and others invoke the rhetoric of science to support political positions in the absence of any real evidence. Lancaster also provides a novel and dramatic analysis of the social, historical, and political backdrop for changing discourses on "nature," including an incisive critique of the failures of queer theory to understand the social conflicts of the moment. By showing how reductivist explanations for sexual orientation lean on essentialist ideas about gender, Lancaster invites us to think more deeply and creatively about human acts and social relations.
Roger N. Lancaster provides the definitive rebuttal of evolutionary just-so stories about men, women, and the nature of desire in this spirited exposé of the heterosexual fables that pervade popular culture, from prime-time sitcoms to scientific theories about the so-called gay gene. Lancaster links the recent resurgence of biological explanations for gender norms, sexual desires, and human nature in general with the current pitched battles over sexual politics. Ideas about a "hardwired" and immutable human nature are circulating at a pivotal moment in human history, he argues, one in which dramatic changes in gender roles and an unprecedented normalization of lesbian and gay relationships are challenging received notions and commonly held convictions on every front.

The Trouble with Nature takes on major media sources—the New York Times, Newsweek—and widely ballyhooed scientific studies and ideas to show how journalists, scientists, and others invoke the rhetoric of science to support political positions in the absence of any real evidence. Lancaster also provides a novel and dramatic analysis of the social, historical, and political backdrop for changing discourses on "nature," including an incisive critique of the failures of queer theory to understand the social conflicts of the moment. By showing how reductivist explanations for sexual orientation lean on essentialist ideas about gender, Lancaster invites us to think more deeply and creatively about human acts and social relations.
List of IllustrationsAcknowledgmentsIntroduction. Culture Wars, Nature Wars: A Report from the FrontORIGINS STORIES1. In the Beginning, Nature2. The Normal Body3. The Human Design4. Our Animals, Our SelvesADAM AND EVE DO THE WILD THING: THE SCIENCE OF DESIRE, THE SELFISH GENE, AND OTHER MODERN FABLES5. The Science Question: Cultural Preoccupations and Social Struggles6. Sexual Selection: Eager, Aggressive Boy Meets Coy, Choosy Girl7. The Selfish Gene8. Genomania and Heterosexual FetishismVENUS AND MARS AT THE FIN DE DIECLE: EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOLOGY AND THE MODERN ART OF SPIN9. Biological Beauty and the Straight Arrow of Desire10. Homo Faber, Family Man11. T-Power12. Nature's Marriage LawsVARIETIES OF HUMAN NATURE: THE VIEW FROM ANTHROPOLOGY AND HISTORY 13. Marooned on Survivor Island14. Selective Affinities: Commonalities and Differences in the Family of Man15. The Social Body16. The Practices of SexPERMUTATIONS ON THE "NATURE" OF DESIRE: THE GAY BRAIN, THE GAY GENE, AND OTHER TALES OF IDENTITY17. This Queer Body18. The Biology of the Homosexual19. Desire Is Not a "Thing"20. Familiar Patterns, Dangerous LiaisonsTHE ENDS OF NATURE: THE WEIRD ANTINOMIES OF POSTMODERN MASS CULTURE21. "Nature" in Quotation Marks22. Money's Subject23. History and Historicity Flow through the Body Politic24. The Politics of Dread and Desire25. Sex and Citizenship in the Age of Flexible AccumulationAn Open-Ended ConclusionNotesIndex
Roger N. Lancaster provides the definitive rebuttal of evolutionary just-so stories about men, women, and the nature of desire in this spirited exposé of the heterosexual fables that pervade popular culture, from prime-time sitcoms to scientific theories about the so-called gay gene. Lancaster links the recent resurgence of biological explanations for gender norms, sexual desires, and human nature in general with the current pitched battles over sexual politics. Ideas about a "hardwired" and immutable human nature are circulating at a pivotal moment in human history, he argues, one in which dramatic changes in gender roles and an unprecedented normalization of lesbian and gay relationships are challenging received notions and commonly held convictions on every front.The Trouble with Nature takes on major media sources-the New York Times, Newsweek-and widely ballyhooed scientific studies and ideas to show how journalists, scientists, and others invoke the rhetoric of science to support political positions in the absence of any real evidence. Lancaster also provides a novel and dramatic analysis of the social, historical, and political backdrop for changing discourses on "nature," including an incisive critique of the failures of queer theory to understand the social conflicts of the moment. By showing how reductivist explanations for sexual orientation lean on essentialist ideas about gender, Lancaster invites us to think more deeply and creatively about human acts and social relations.

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