Socialism’s struggles with Eros: Politics of the body in Cuba and China

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In this review essay, the problematic relationship between socialism and eroticism is discussed, in defense of the erotic. The purpose of this essay is to keep sociological focus on the erotic sphere as a central source of creativity and transformation. The erotic – the transfiguration of sexual energy into cultural inventiveness by the imagination – is thought of as containing the potential to mitigate everyday disenchantment in rationalized worlds such as socialism. Megan Daigle’s From Cuba with Love and Everett Yuehong Zhang’s The Impotence Epidemic are reviewed as two important, fascinating, and well-investigated accounts of the erotic sphere in societies in which socialist regimes imprint their schemes of rationalization. Through a discussion of their works, this essay seeks to find out what happens with the erotic when eroticism is outlawed and the body is governed according to socialist doctrines, and made available for state intervention.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525-532
JournalInternational sociology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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