Social Constructionism and Essentialism

  • William S. Wilkerson
Part of the The Future of Minority Studies book series (FMS)


This chapter marks a shift in the focus of this book. So far I have been constructing a positive account of sexuality and sexual identity which I call emerging fusion. I developed this account not only for the sake of understanding the complexities of sexual identity, but also to answer some of the questions and issues that have plagued parts of GLB studies in the recent past: issues of social constructionism versus essentialism and the political value of gay or lesbian identity. Taking each of these issues in turn, I hope now to use the theory to provide some new insight into old problems. I begin with the constructionist debate.


Sexual Orientation Sexual Identity Social Constructionism Social Circumstance Sexual Object 
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© William S. Wilkerson 2007

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  • William S. Wilkerson

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