The Classing Gaze Sexuality, Class and Surveillance

Concepts like sexuality and class share the same moment of birth during the nineteenth century as social inquiry turned to analysis of the workings, population growth, thought patterns, economic systems and internal bodily workings of humans (or Man, to be historically accurate). How did these ideological concepts impact in the real world? A great deal, is the short answer, outlined in this book.

This book focuses on Australian social reports and reveals how sections of society at that time were conceptually constructed as two distinct working classes. It questions what happened to the other working class: Marx’s “lumpenproletariat” and Victor Hugo’s “Les Miserables” and asks how 20th-century social theorists agreed that only one working class existed.

“The Classing Gaze” suggests that it is the notion of sexuality that holds the key to the appearance of both groups and the “disappearance” of one. Furthermore, it argues that it was the sexuality of women that occupied central stage in the classing process. It explains that underlying our modern social organization is the silent organizing discourse of sexuality.

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