Modernising Sexualities: Towards a Socio-historical Understanding of Sexualities in the Swiss Nation

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Peter Lang, 2005 - Social Science - 286 pages
This book examines constructions of sexualities and their intersection with nation-building between the 1890s and the 1930s. Using the unification of the Swiss Criminal Code as an investigative framework this book argues that sexualities and nation are intertwined through ideas and discourses about boundaries, their maintenance and their reproduction which, in the context of national fears and anxieties about degeneration, impacted on practices of inclusion and exclusion in the national imaginary.
The book contributes to emerging debates about gender, sexuality and nation, linking it with literature on eugenics and social politics. Explicitly interdisciplinary, the author examines the regulation of sexuality, gender, age and bodies by using an analysis of the legal, political, medical and «lay» discourses deployed in the discussions of the regulation of sexualities. Resulting are topical chapters on the regulation of same-sex desire, the age of consent and young people's sexuality, the construction of femininity and masculinity, the role of the women's social purity movement, the sexual regulation of «feebleminded» women in the context of eugenics, and the sexual politics of the nation.
 

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Contents

Inclusions and Exclusions
5
The Codification of Swiss Criminal Law
13
Structure of the Book
22
Historical and Conceptual Perspectives
28
Contextualising Sexuality
38
Methodological Reflections
53
Chapter 3
59
Changing Regulations in Switzerland
65
Young People as Criminals
109
Protecting Impressionable Youth
117
Feminised Sexuality and Masculinised Sexuality
124
Chapter 5
131
The Social Purity Groups and the Promotion of Morality
140
Chapter 6
163
Managing Social Problems in Switzerland
177
Conclusion
196

The Struggle to Regulate
73
Sexual Acts versus Sexuality
82
Preventing a Social Movement
89
Petitions
95
Chapter 4
101
Discourses of Sexuality and Kulturnation Narratives
209
Chapter 8
227
Appendix 3
241
Index
277
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About the author (2005)

The Author: Natalia Gerodetti studied at the University of Leeds between 1994 and 2002 completing a BA in Women_s Studies, an M.A. in Social Research and a Ph.D. in Sociology & Social Policy. The author is currently working at the Institut d_Etudes Politiques et Internationales (IEPI), University of Lausanne, as a post-doctoral research fellow on a research project on the Social and Political Implications of Eugenics funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation.

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