Sorting Sexualities: Expertise and the Politics of Legal Classification

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Product Details
University of Chicago Press
Publish Date
6.0 X 9.0 X 0.6 inches | 0.85 pounds

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About the Author
Stefan Vogler is an affiliated scholar with the American Bar Foundation. His work has been published in numerous journals, including Gender & Society, Theoretical Criminology, Sociology Compass, Law & Society Review, and the Journal of Homosexuality.
"[A] complex, captivating exploration of sexual identity and the law. . . . This is a truly fascinating and eye-opening book, richly researched and engaging. . . . Highly recommended."-- "Choice"
"Sorting Sexualities is a wonderful big-picture book, superbly researched and subtly theorized. It is an original and timely contribution to legal studies, social studies of science, and sexuality studies. We have many good monographs on the legal regulation of a single sexual minority at a point in time. But by comparing and contrasting what counts as legal evidence for different purposes, Vogler's ambitious study shows that both the law and the science of sexuality are highly fragmented."--Mariana Valverde, University of Toronto
"This is brilliant stuff. The book is helpful in thinking through the way the state views categories, knowledge, and classificatory systems. It is satisfying in the best ways: I've read it twice and want to return to it--I continue to want to think about it. It is an excellent piece of scholarship that makes novel claims regarding state power, sexuality, identity, and expertise--and will push scholarship in those areas forward. Absolutely fascinating."--Renée Cramer, Drake University
"A fantastic achievement. Virtually unparalleled in scope, evidence, and analytic precision, Vogler has cut through the scientific and legal discourse surrounding two confounding subjects of the twenty-first century: the LGBTQ asylee and the sex offender. Unafraid to make dangerous comparisons or ask disquieting questions about the production of sexual natures, Vogler has exposed a vast network of social actors, technologies, knowledge-production practices, and subject-producing institutions that have broad implications for how sexualities are made and remade across registers of society. This book will be a classic of STS, queer, and critical legal studies."--Patrick R. Grzanka, University of Tennessee, Knoxville
"This is a study of state classification of LGBTQ people seeking asylum in the US and sexual offenders being evaluated for carceral placement--two situations where state actors must determine individuals' sexualities. Though these legal settings are diametrically opposed--one a punitive assessment, the other a protective one--they present the same question. Vogler finds that different legal arenas take dramatically different approaches to classifying sexuality and use those classifications to legitimate different forms of social control. He concludes that the science of sexuality is far more central to state power than we realize."-- "Law & Social Inquiry"
"What emerges from Vogler's detailed study of the various materials related to these two legal classification systems is an impressive constructionist story about how law and psychology, medicine, and science operate together to create, reify, and maintain systems of sexual classification. . . . This book makes important contributions to the sociology of scientific and social-scientific knowledge and the sociology of legal knowledge generally by charting the divergence of these two quite distinct legal and scientific classifications of sexuality. For this reason, among others, Sorting Sexuality deserves a very broad readership."-- "Law & Society Review"