Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick: Summary

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In the introduction from Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick’s novel, she states that her argument is that the continuum between male “homosocial desire” and homosexuality cannot be understood outside of its relation to women and the gender system as a whole (2435). She then uses the sociological neologism "homosocial" to distinguish from "homosexual", stating that the social bonds between males can be applied to “male bonding”. She also notes that these activities may be characterized in our society by “intense homophobia, fear, and hatred of homosexuality” (2435). Following this accusation of sorts, she explains why she views this homosocial behavior as potentially erotic to hypothesize the potential unbrokenness of a continuum between homosocial and homosexual (2435). Her use of the word “desire”, rather than “love”, she mentions is in response to the fact that “in literary critical and related discourse, “love” is more easily used to name a particular emotion and “desire” to name a structure” (2435). Sedgwick clearly states that one of the purposes of focusing on the male homosocial bonds, instead of female, is that she aims to “explore the ways in which the shapes of sexuality, and what counts as sexuality” (2435). Sedgwick’s…show more content…
She says, “in a society where men and women differ in their access to power, there will be important gender differences, as well, in the structure and constitution of sexuality” (2436). As women, we generally see a clear path between the relations of women. Sedgwick uses Adrieene Rich’s description of these bonds as “an intelligible continuum of aims, emotions, and valuations links lesbianism with the other forms of women’s attention to women: the bond of mother and daughter, for instance, the bond of sister and sister, women’s friendship, “networking,” and the active struggles of feminism”
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