Sexual meanings, placemaking, and the urban imaginary

Authored by: Amin Ghaziani

Routledge Handbook of Cultural Sociology

Print publication date:  October  2018
Online publication date:  November  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138288621
eBook ISBN: 9781315267784
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315267784-25

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Abstract

How do culture and sexuality jointly affect residential decision-making in the city? Sociologists have developed an extensive set of propositions about urban development and frameworks about sexual identities, but research seldom connects these scholarly streams. This chapter uses the queer-friendly residential logics of heterosexuals – why straight people say they want to live in a gay neighborhood – to theorize the city as a dense network of meanings in which residents negotiate their imaginations and material efforts at placemaking. A cultural sociology of the gayborhood emerges from this discussion, and it emphasizes the autonomy of culture in explanations of urban change, the relationship between culture and sexual inequality, and a practice of measurement that specifies the observable analytic units of culture.

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