Zygmunt Bauman. On Postmodern Uses of Sex

Theory, Culture & Society, Vol. 15, No. 3, 19-33 (1998)
DOI: 10.1177/0263276498015003002
Zygmunt Bauman is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the University of Leeds. His latest publications include Globalization: The Human Conse- quences (Polity Press, 1998) and Work, Consumerism and the New Poor (Open University Press, 1998).

Of sex, eroticism and love, the first is natural and limited in its forms, while the other two are cultural products infinite in their expressions and applications. The history of eroticism is, essentially, a history of changing border conflicts and shifting alliances between the three members of the triad. The postmodern novelty is emancipation of eroticism from both sexual reproduction and love - and setting it free to perform a variety of new tasks. A crucial one among these is the renegotiation of social relations inside the family and in public space, as well as new forms of identity building.

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