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Contacts Desired: Gay and Lesbian Communications and Community, 1940s-1970s

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Contacts Desired: Gay and Lesbian Communications and Community, 1940s-1970s Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Whether one thinks homosexuals are born or made, they generally are not born into gay families, nor are they socialized to be gay by their peers or schools. How then do people become aware of homosexuality and, in some cases, integrate into gay communities? The making of homosexual identity is the result of a communicative process that entails searching, listening, looking, reading, and finding. Contacts Desired proposes that this communicative process has a history, and it sets out to tell that story.

Martin Meeker here argues that over the course of the twentieth century, a series of important innovations occurred in the networks that linked individuals to a larger social knowledge of homosexuality. He points to three key innovations in particular: the emergence of the homophile movement in the 1950s; the mass media treatments of homosexuals in the late 1950s and early 1960s; and the popularization of do-it-yourself publishing from the late 1940s to the 1970s, which offered bar guides, handmade magazines, and other materials that gay men and lesbians could use to seek one another out. In the process, Meeker unearths a treasure trove of archival materials that reveals how homosexuals played a crucial role in transforming the very structure of communications and urban communities since the postwar era. "Contacts Desired is a valuable and enduring work of scholarship, surely the best book in gay and lesbian history this year."--Gay and Lesbian Review 

Synopsis:

Whether one thinks homosexuals are born or made, they generally are not born into gay families, nor are they socialized to be gay by their peers or schools. How then do people become aware of homosexuality and, in some cases, integrate into gay communities? The making of homosexual identity is the result of a communicative process that entails searching, listening, looking, reading, and finding. Contacts Desired proposes that this communicative process has a history, and it sets out to tell that story.

Martin Meeker here argues that over the course of the twentieth century, a series of important innovations occurred in the networks that linked individuals to a larger social knowledge of homosexuality. He points to three key innovations in particular: the emergence of the homophile movement in the 1950s; the mass media treatments of homosexuals in the late 1950s and early 1960s; and the popularization of do-it-yourself publishing from the late 1940s to the 1970s, which offered bar guides, handmade magazines, and other materials that gay men and lesbians could use to seek out one another. In the process, Meeker unearths a treasure trove of archival materials that reveals how homosexuals played a crucial role in transforming the very structure of communications and urban communities since the postwar era.

About the Author

Martin Meeker is a historian at the Regional Oral History Office of the University of California, Berkeley.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments

Source Note

Introduction - The Sexual Communication Network as an Agent of Change
 
Part 1 - Homosexuals Today—The 1950s
Introduction
1. Establishing a Homosexual Headquarters
2. Organizing Lesbian Connections

Part 2 - The Homosexual Revolution in the 1960s

Introduction
3. Building the Lesbian Grapevine
4. Publicizing the Gay Life
 
Part 3 - Do-It-Yourself into the 1970s
Introduction
5. Assembling a Lavender Baedeker
6. Shaping an "Amazon Network"
 
Epilogue - The Study of Sexuality in the Internet Age
Notes

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780226517353
Author:
Meeker, Martin
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Subject:
History
Subject:
Gay Studies
Subject:
Lesbian Studies
Subject:
Gays
Subject:
Gays -- History -- 20th century.
Subject:
Gay culture - History - 20th century
Subject:
Gay and Lesbian-General
Edition Description:
Paperback
Publication Date:
20051231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
Language:
English
Illustrations:
23 halftones, 1 line drawings
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Gay and Lesbian » Fiction and Poetry » General
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » General

Contacts Desired: Gay and Lesbian Communications and Community, 1940s-1970s New Trade Paper
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Product details 320 pages University of Chicago Press - English 9780226517353 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
Whether one thinks homosexuals are born or made, they generally are not born into gay families, nor are they socialized to be gay by their peers or schools. How then do people become aware of homosexuality and, in some cases, integrate into gay communities? The making of homosexual identity is the result of a communicative process that entails searching, listening, looking, reading, and finding. Contacts Desired proposes that this communicative process has a history, and it sets out to tell that story.

Martin Meeker here argues that over the course of the twentieth century, a series of important innovations occurred in the networks that linked individuals to a larger social knowledge of homosexuality. He points to three key innovations in particular: the emergence of the homophile movement in the 1950s; the mass media treatments of homosexuals in the late 1950s and early 1960s; and the popularization of do-it-yourself publishing from the late 1940s to the 1970s, which offered bar guides, handmade magazines, and other materials that gay men and lesbians could use to seek out one another. In the process, Meeker unearths a treasure trove of archival materials that reveals how homosexuals played a crucial role in transforming the very structure of communications and urban communities since the postwar era.

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