Lesbian and Bisexual Identities: Constructing Communities, Constructing Selves

Lesbian and Bisexual Identities: Constructing Communities, Constructing Selves

By: Kristin G. Esterberg (author)Paperback

1 - 2 weeks availability

£28.12 RRP £28.99  You save £0.87 (3%) With FREE Saver Delivery


This book examines the stories of lesbian and bisexual women in a Northeast community who share who they are, how they have come to see themselves as lesbian or bisexual, and what those identities mean to them. Drawing on social constructionist approaches to identity, Kristin G. Esterberg argues that identities are multiple and contingent. Created within the context of specific communities and within specific relationships, lesbian and bisexual identities are ways of sorting through experiences of desires and attractions, relationships, and politics. Their meanings change over time as women grow older and have more varied experiences, as the communities and sociopolitical worlds in which they live change, and as their life circumstances alter. In interviews conducted over a four-year time period, women describe the lesbian community they live in; how they see its structure, its social groups, its informal rules and norms for behavior; and their places inside -- or on the margins of -- the community. Lesbian and Bisexual Identities reveals how women fall in and out of love, how they \u0022perform\u0022 lesbian or bisexual identity through clothing, hairstyle, body language, and talk, and many other aspects typically not considered. The women present a variety of accounts. Some consider themselves \u0022lesbian from birth\u0022 and have constructed their lives accordingly, while others have experienced significant shifts in their identities, depending on the influences of feminism, progressive politics, the visibility of the lesbian community, and other factors. Esterberg offers vivid accounts that defy the stereotypes so commonly offered. Lesbian and Bisexual Identities not only presents women's stories in their own words, it moves beyond storytelling to understand how these accounts resonate with social science theories of identity and community.

Create a review

About Author

Kristin G. Esterberg is Assistant Professor of Sociology and Director of Women's Studies at the University of Missouri in Kansas City. She is the author of numerous articles on the social construction of gay and lesbian identities.


Acknowledgments Introduction 1. Theorizing Identity: Lesbian and Bisexual Accounts 2. Cover Stories 3. Changing Selves 4. Essentially Lesbian? Performing Lesbian Identity 5. Race, Class, Identity 6. Twelve Steppers, Feminists, and Softball Dykes 7. Rule Making and Rule Breaking 8. Bisexual Accounts and the Limits of Lesbian Community 9. Beyond Identity and Community? Appendix: Methodology Notes References Index

Product Details

  • publication date: 19/02/1997
  • ISBN13: 9781566395106
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 216
  • ID: 9781566395106
  • weight: 268
  • ISBN10: 1566395100

Delivery Information

  • Saver Delivery: Yes
  • 1st Class Delivery: Yes
  • Courier Delivery: Yes
  • Store Delivery: Yes

Prices are for internet purchases only. Prices and availability in WHSmith Stores may vary significantly