An Invaluable Study with Slight Setbacks A Review of Weeks Coming Out

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In Coming out: Homosexual Politics in Britain, from the Nineteenth Century to the Present, Jeffrey Weeks tackles the objective of providing an overarching view of the tribulations suffered and victories achieved by homosexual men and women in Britain during the last century.


A closer examination, however, of how specific social events influenced homosexual identity would have greatly aided in creating an understanding of the relationship and origins homosexual identity has in British society. Thus, Weeks emphasizes the structural existence of homosexuality, while failing to consider the forces that might have established this structure.
"We tend to think now that the word 'homosexual' has an unvarying meaning, beyond time and history." Weeks writes. "In fact it is itself a product of history, a cultural artifact designed to express a particular concept." (3) Often who we define as a homosexual runs no further than the sexual acts in which a person engages. The basis of this definition, however, fails to consider what type of person is or is not a homosexual.
Weeks suggests that the reasons for crafting this shallow connotation towards homosexuality appears to have been to provide a standard on which to label permissible and impressible behavior and also to limit the number of those who are viewed as untraditional.
In addition to carefully describing the differences between historical and social aspects of homosexuality, Weeks makes sure to describe the differences in treatment towards various types of "homosexuals." Weeks pays particular considera ...
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