Paper $35.00 ISBN: 9780226361253 Will Publish December 2017
Cloth $105.00 ISBN: 9780226361116 Will Publish December 2017
E-book $35.00 Available for pre-order. ISBN: 9780226361390 Will Publish December 2017

How Places Make Us

Novel LBQ Identities in Four Small Cities

Japonica Brown-Saracino

How Places Make Us

Japonica Brown-Saracino

352 pages | 3 line drawings, 11 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2018
Paper $35.00 ISBN: 9780226361253 Will Publish December 2017
Cloth $105.00 ISBN: 9780226361116 Will Publish December 2017
E-book $35.00 ISBN: 9780226361390 Will Publish December 2017
We like to think of ourselves as possessing an essential self, a core identity that is who we really are, regardless of where we live, work, or play. But places actually make us much more than we might think, argues Japonica Brown-Saracino in this novel ethnographic study of lesbian, bisexual, and queer individuals in four small cities across the United States.

Taking us into communities in Ithaca, New York; San Luis Obispo, California; Greenfield, Massachusetts; and Portland, Maine; Brown-Saracino shows how LBQ migrants craft a unique sense of self that corresponds to their new homes. How Places Make Us demonstrates that sexual identities are responsive to city ecology. Despite the fact that the LBQ residents share many demographic and cultural traits, their approaches to sexual identity politics and to ties with other LBQ individuals and heterosexual residents vary markedly by where they live. Subtly distinct local ecologies shape what it feels like to be a sexual minority, including the degree to which one feels accepted, how many other LBQ individuals one encounters in daily life, and how often a city declares its embrace of difference. In short, city ecology shapes how one “does” LBQ in a specific place. Ultimately, Brown-Saracino shows that there isn’t one general way of approaching sexual identity because humans are not only social but fundamentally local creatures. Even in a globalized world, the most personal of questions—who am I?—is in fact answered collectively by the city in which we live.  
Contents
Introduction
One / Ithaca: Integration and Post-Identity Politics
Two / San Luis Obispo: Lesbian Identity Politics and Community
Three / Portland: Hybrid and Hyphenated Identity Politics
Four / Greenfield: Lesbian Feminist Longtimers and Post-Identity-Politics Newcomers
Five / How Places Make Us
Conclusion
Acknowledgments
Methodological Appendix
Notes
References
Index
Review Quotes
Harvey Molotch, New York University
“Brown-Saracino tell us a lot about sexuality but, more importantly, about the cities—location, location, location—where sexuality occurs. Using case studies of lesbian and queer settlements, she sheds light on social formations across the board, providing details of how subgroups form, regroup, and disband. There is relevance here, again and again, for understanding how place gets into any of us.”
Kathleen M. Blee, University of Pittsburgh
“A wonderfully profound and engaging study of how cities shape who we are. Demolishing the common idea that global retail stores and media culture have made places less distinct, Brown-Saracino’s delicately textured ethnography reveals how our fundamental sense of self is still shaped by the places we live. A must-read for all students of modern social life.”
Verta Taylor, University of California, Santa Barbara
“Through the lens of LBQ communities in four small US cities, Brown-Saracino tells the story of the myriad ways that place and community influence LBQ cultures, politics, and identities. A lively, informative, and provocative read, this book illuminates the changing nature of LBQ life in contemporary American urban life and makes a significant contribution to contemporary theorizing on sexuality and space.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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