The last decade has seen the transformation of the study of sexuality from a marginalized effort to a fully respected discipline at many major universities. There are numerous publications devoted solely to the topic and queer theory, a force to be reckoned with, has its own celebrities. Nonetheless, queer studies is considered to be the brainchild of the humanities, with the social sciences slowly coming around to apply its principles to empirical research. "Long, Slow Burn, " a powerful collection of essays by Kath Weston, argues that social science has been talking about sex all along; to deny this one would have to overlook Kinsey's pioneering sex research in the 1950s, or the psychiatrist Evelyn Hooker's pathbreaking study of homosexuality, but also in the "sex talk" that lies at the heart of classic debates on kinship, inequality, cognition, and other foundational topics in the social sciences. What is different now, Weston claims, is the way sexuality has been isolated from other contemporary issues. "Long, Slow Burn" lays out a radically different approach to the study of sexuality. Not content with its ghettoization as a contained subfield, Weston refuses to draw an artificial line around sexuality. Her essays do not attempt to make sexuality a discrete object of study. Rather, each essay "sexes up" a conventional subject, such as kinship, race or labor, proving that once you start paying attention to sexuality, you can never look at social issues in the same way again. "Long, Slow Burn" offers an intervention, an attempt to see sexuality as it permeates the multiple fibers of our social fabric. It demonstrates that sexuality has always been a part of the social sciences, but more importantly, is the key to their future.
..."highly readable book...This is an exceptionally good read, even for the academically uninitiated and the theoretically wary."
-Lambda Book Report
"Appropriate for advanced undergraduates and graduate-level students, this is recommended for large academic libraries."
-"Library Journal, 10/98
"Every sentence of "Long Slow Burn burns in effigy the sanitized vision of the social sciences that relegates sexuality to a realm beneath "legitimate" knowledge. The scholarly and polemical essays collected here challenge the histories, theories, and rhetorical modes that regulate disciplinary notions of "tradition"; at the same time, Kath Weston wages compelling arguments against the ahistorical and class-aversive tendencies of contemporary sexuality studies.."
-Lauren Berlant, University of Chicago
"Wonderfully written, it is a work of consummate grace, critical acuity, persuasive power....it provokes us--profoundly, brilliantly--to think anew about the location of sexuality in the social sciences. And in the world at large."
-John Comaroff, University of Chicago