Legal Consciousness in Lesbian and Gay Lives
Routledge – 2011 – 216 pages
Series: Social Justice
Winner of the 2011 SLSA-Hart Socio-Legal Book Prize
Regulating Sexuality: Legal Consciousness in Lesbian and Gay Lives explores the impact that recent seismic shifts in the legal landscape have had for lesbians and gay men. The last decade has been a time of extensive change in the legal regulation of lesbian and gay lives in Britain, Canada and the US. Almost every area that the law impacts on sexuality has been reformed or modified. These legal developments combine to create a new, uncharted terrain for lesbians and gay men. And, through an analysis of their attitudes, views and experiences, this book explores the effects of these developments.
Drawing on—as well as developing—the concept of ‘legal consciousness’, Regulating Sexuality focuses on four different ‘texts’: qualitative responses to a large-scale online survey of lesbians’ and gay men’s views about the legal recognition of same sex relationships; published auto/biographical narratives about being and becoming a lesbian or gay parent; semi-structured, in-depth, interviews with lesbians and gay men about relationship recognition, parenting, discrimination and equality; and fictional utopian texts. In this study of the interaction between law and society in social justice movements, Rosie Harding interweaves insights from the new legal pluralism with legal consciousness studies to present a rich and nuanced exploration of the contemporary regulation of sexuality.
‘The book is a milestone of a sophisticated and nuanced socio-legal study that deepens and expands the scope of the existing research on the place of law in everyday queer lives’ - Antu Sorainen, University of Helsinki, Finland for Social & Legal Studies (2013)
1. Introduction: Law, Sexuality and Everyday Life 2. Legal Consciousness in Lesbian and Gay Lives 3. Reconsidering Resistance 4. From ‘Outlaws’ to ‘In-Laws’? 5. Stories of Law 6. Recognising Regulation 7. Imagining a Different World 8. Afterword
Dr Rosie Harding is a lecturer in law at Keele University.