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Title: From leather outlaw to sexual consumer? : gay SM in the United Kingdom, 1950s-present
Author: Chaline, Eric
ISNI:       0000 0001 3526 0820
Awarding Body: London South Bank University
Current Institution: London South Bank University
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis presents the findings of a sociological study of gay SM (male homosexual sadomasochism) in the United Kingdom from the 19505 to the present. Located in the social constructionist tradition of Weeks (1981, 1985, 1995a) and Foucault (1984, 1988, 1990), the study employed both quantitative and qualitative methodologies and research methods. The analytical structure for the presentation of the findings follows an adapted version of Derek Layder's (1997, 2(04)) theory of social domains. The study opens with an account of the development of gay SM in the United Kingdom, divided into four historical phases. The fourth and current phase provides the first comprehensive ethnographic description of gay SM's present-day social worlds, focusing on the growth of the commercial sector and the Internet as the most significant factors in the production and reproduction of contemporary gay SM. Having set the historical scene, I update existing demographic information on participants and define three levels of self-identification and five categories of individual narrative constructs of gay SM. I then apply Gagnon and Simon's (1973) theory of sexual scripting to socialization into gay SM, describing seven sources of intrapsychic scripting and three patterns of conversion from intrapsychic to interpersonal scripting. This introduces a detailed account of small-scale and group gay SM interactions that stresses their embodied, emotional characteristics and highlights the leading role of small-scale interactions in private in the production and reproduction of gay SM for much of the period under study. The examination of lived, embodied interactions is complemented by an analysis of the various discursive constructions of gay SM, with special reference to the relationship between 'sadomasochism', 'leather' and 'SM' and to the role of the 'Black Pound', the term I have chosen to describe the discourses found in the gay SM commercial sector. I summarize and conclude the thesis with a definition of gay SM as 'The performance of consensual eroticized power-relationship interactions between gay men'.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available