Invented Moralities: Sexual Values in an Age of Uncertainty

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Columbia University Press, 1995 - 209 pages
At the core of the ongoing debate over "values" is the issue of sexuality. Indeed, when conservative politicians invoke the notion of "family values," they imply a range of ideals centered around the limitation of sexual freedom. Sex and morality have become hot topics in this age of widespread uncertainty about the location of "right" and "wrong."
In Invented Moralities, renowned scholar Jeffrey Weeks explores the clashes over sexual values that characterize these contemporary debates. Working from what he calls a radical humanist perspective, Weeks looks at sexual mores in these times of confusion - from AIDS and the challenges of love and death, to the politics of diversity, to controversial topics such as sadomasochism, rape, and abortion rights.
Invented Moralities asks us to move beyond the narrow focus on "right" and "wrong" sexual behavior, and instead turn our attention to the ethics of how we engage with the shifting landscapes of sexuality. As Weeks puts it, we need to develop "an ethic of relationships, not a morality of [sex] acts."
As a point of entry into the debate on values, Invented Moralities presents an imperative for the contemporary Left. In an even broader sense, this important work offers a celebration of individual freedom and the rich diversity of human goals.
 

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INVENTED MORALITIES: Sexual Values in an Age of Uncertainty

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A refreshing and sharp theoretical contribution to a politically burdened debate. Weeks (Sociology/South Bank Univ., England) assumes the daunting task of theorizing morality, values, and sexuality ... Read full review

Contents

Values whose Values?
1
Living with Uncertainty
15
Inventing Moralities
46
Sexual Identities and the
82
The Sphere of the Intimate and the Values of
124
Caught between Worlds and Ways of Being
155
Bibliography
189
Index 206
207
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About the author (1995)

Jeffrey Weeks is professor of sociology in the department of legal, political, and social sciences at South Bank University in London. He is the author of many books, most recently Against Nature: Essays on History, Sexuality and Identity.

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