Sexual anomie, social structure, societal change
Although relegated to a minor place in his writings, Durkheim did consider aspects of sexuality and sexual regulations as basic features of social organization. This paper begins with an examination of sexual anomie in Suicide. Durkheim uncovered some unexpected data as to which sex really benefits from the institution of marriage but did not draw out the implications of his findings because, we suggest, the findings were too anomalous in terms of the bourgeois worldview of his period. Yet the notion of sexual anomie is heuristic in approaching features of contemporary society that involve transformations in sexual relations and sexual identity. In addition to structural changes and deregulations in sexual relations, attention is also given to ideological ones, such as expressions of an ideology of "androgyny." We conclude that the question and meaning of sexual relations will become a central concern for the social order of advanced modernity, and therefore should be reconsidered as a major variable in societal change. © 1981 The University of North Carolina Press.
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