Sexing the Citizen: Morality and Masculinity in France, 1870-1920 by Judith SurkisSexing the Citizen: Morality and Masculinity in France, 1870-1920 by Judith Surkis

Sexing the Citizen: Morality and Masculinity in France, 1870-1920

byJudith Surkis

Paperback | July 14, 2011

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How did marriage come to be seen as the foundation and guarantee of social stability in Third Republic France? In Sexing the Citizen, Judith Surkis shows how masculine sexuality became central to the making of a republican social order. Marriage, Surkis argues, affirmed the citizen's masculinity, while also containing and controlling his desires. This ideal offered a specific response to the problems—individualism, democratization, and rapid technological and social change—associated with France's modernity.

This rich, wide-ranging cultural and intellectual history provides important new insights into how concerns about sexuality shaped the Third Republic's pedagogical projects. Educators, political reformers, novelists, academics, and medical professionals enshrined marriage as the key to eliminating the risks of social and sexual deviance posed by men-especially adolescents, bachelors, bureaucrats, soldiers, and colonial subjects. Debates on education reform and venereal disease reveal how seriously the social policies of the Third Republic took the need to control the unstable aspects of male sexuality.

Surkis's compelling analyses of republican moral philosophy and Emile Durkheim's sociology illustrate the cultural weight of these concerns and provide an original account of modern French thinking about society. More broadly, Sexing the Citizen illuminates how sexual norms continue to shape the meaning of citizenship.

Title:Sexing the Citizen: Morality and Masculinity in France, 1870-1920Format:PaperbackDimensions:296 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.27 inPublished:July 14, 2011Publisher:CORNELL UNIVERSITY PRESSLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0801477220

ISBN - 13:9780801477225

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Table of Contents


Part I: Affective Government
1. Moral Education, the Family, and the State
2. Liberal Discipline

Part II: The Bachelor's Vice
3. Wasted Youth
4. Life and the Mind

Part III: Emile Durkheim and Desirable Regulation
5. The Limits of Desire
6. The Sacralization of Heterosexuality

Part IV: Preserving Men
7. Veneral Consciousness and Society
8. Hygienic Citizens



Editorial Reviews

"Sexing the Citizen is a theoretically informed cultural history of the making of citizenship in France during the Third Republic. Judith Surkis's historical research is thorough, her coverage of the literature expert, and her mastery of primary materials evident. She combines astute readings of parliamentary sessions, legal trials, medical journals, and 'high' intellectual history."—Carolyn J. Dean, Brown University, author of The Fragility of Empathy after the Holocaust