Analysis of The Transformation of Intimacy by Anthony Giddens

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Analysis of The Transformation of Intimacy by Anthony Giddens

How does 'sexuality' come into being, and what connections does it have with the changes that have affected personal life on a more general plane? In answering these questions, Anthony Giddens disputes many of the interpretations of the role of sexuality in our culture. The emergence of what he calls plastic sexuality, which is sexuality freed from its original relation of reproduction, is analyzed in terms of the long-term development of the modern social order and social influences of the last few decades. Giddens argues that the transformation of intimacy, in which women have played the major part, holds out the possibility of a society that is very traditional. "This book will appeal to a large general audience as well as being essential reading for those students in sociology and theory."(Manis 1)

Giddens feels that the changes that have taken place in the matter of intimacy, definitely have a chance in our society, but much of it is yet to be realized. "Giddens argues that Foucault, by limiting his discussion of modern sexuality, cannot adequately account for changes that have occurred over the past century and, most notably, in the last few decades."(Gordon 2) He believes that the root of these changes are the spread of romantic love and contraception. They have created a 'plastic sexuality, which he describes as a sexuality split from traditional sexuality, to many changes not only in female heterosexual behavior but in lesbian and gay behavior as well.

Giddens describes our modern society as a "risk society" with three important trends affecting it: globalization, detraditionalization, and social reflexivity. Globalization is how the boundaries of o...

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... decades ago. This book is one that will allow the reader to view many aspects of sexuality from a social standpoint, and apply it to certain social attitudes in our society today, these attitudes can range from the acceptance of lesbian and gays, and the common sight of sex before marriage and women equality. The new era of sexuality has taken a definite "transformation" as Giddens puts it, and as a society we are living in the world of change in which we must adapt, by accepting our society as a changing society, and not be naive and think all the rules of sexuality from our parents time our still in existence now.


1. Mannis, R. J.: Quoted from a book review.

2. Gordon, M. : Quoted from a synopsis of " The Transformation of Intimacy".

3. All other quotes from Giddens in "The Transformation of Intimacy".

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