Boystown: Sex And Community In Chicago

Hardcover | January 20, 2017

byJason OrnePhotographed byDylan Stuckey

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From neighborhoods as large as Chelsea or the Castro, to locales limited to a single club, like The Shamrock in Madison or Sidewinders in Albuquerque, gay areas are becoming normal. Straight people flood in. Gay people flee out. Scholars call this transformation assimilation, and some argue that we—gay and straight alike—are becoming “post-gay.” Jason Orne argues that rather than post-gay, America is becoming “post-queer,” losing the radical lessons of sex.

In Boystown, Orne takes readers on a detailed, lively journey through Chicago’s Boystown, which serves as a model for gayborhoods around the country. The neighborhood, he argues, has become an entertainment district—a gay Disneyland—where people get lost in the magic of the night and where straight white women can “go on safari.” In their original form, though, gayborhoods like this one don’t celebrate differences; they create them. By fostering a space outside the mainstream, gay spaces allow people to develop an alternative culture—a queer culture that celebrates sex.

Orne spent three years doing fieldwork in Boystown, searching for ways to ask new questions about the connective power of sex and about what it means to be not just gay, but queer. The result is the striking Boystown, illustrated throughout with street photography by Dylan Stuckey. In the dark backrooms of raunchy clubs where bachelorettes wouldn’t dare tread, people are hooking up and forging “naked intimacy.” Orne is your tour guide to the real Boystown, then, where sex functions as a vital center and an antidote to assimilation.

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From the Publisher

From neighborhoods as large as Chelsea or the Castro, to locales limited to a single club, like The Shamrock in Madison or Sidewinders in Albuquerque, gay areas are becoming normal. Straight people flood in. Gay people flee out. Scholars call this transformation assimilation, and some argue that we—gay and straight alike—are becoming “...

Jason Orne is assistant professor of sociology at Drexel University and coauthor of An Invitation to Qualitative Fieldwork.

other books by Jason Orne

Boystown: Sex And Community In Chicago
Boystown: Sex And Community In Chicago

Paperback|Jan 20 2017

$34.69 online$39.00list price(save 11%)
Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.98 inPublished:January 20, 2017Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022641325X

ISBN - 13:9780226413259

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

1. Nightfall
2. On Safari
3. Naked Intimacy
4. Sexy Community
5. Sexual Racism
6. New, Now, Next, Not
Midnight
7. Gay Disneyland
8. Becoming Gay
9. One of the Good Gays
10. Straight to Halsted
11. Girlstown
12. Take Back Boystown
13. Queer Is Community
14. Dawn
Acknowledgments
Supplement: Producing Ethnography
Notes
References
Index

Editorial Reviews

“Innovative, smart, and neon-hued, Boystown is chockablock with characters and a compelling, wry narrative. This is a one-of-a-kind ethnography that promises to be a well-received book. Using Gayle Rubin’s charmed circle, a Bourdieusian toolkit of concepts, and the familiar sociological trinity of race/class/gender, Orne manages to walk the line by keeping this foray into urban sexuality rigorous with a light touch.”