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Compelling Intimacies: Domesticity, Sexuality, and Agency

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Abstract:

This introduction highlights what we call "Compelling Intimacies"—the multiple desires, affects, and affinities that arise at the intersection of institutions, actors, technologies, and ethical discourses to exert persuasive pressures on subjects. Each article animates different facets of the intensities born of intimacy as they operate across social and relational fields. The authors separate agency from intention in their efforts to identify the vitality of human and non-human relations. Together, the articles demonstrate how domesticities arise through diverse sets of circumstances, emerging in multiple incarnations—often in the same household—in such a way as to generate a wide range of affects and affinities. Finally, each author turns attention to the so-called "small events" that come to affirm or deny life as given form in everyday household arrangements, kin relations, friendships, and institutional settings, thereby suggesting the political stakes evoked by differing forms of care.

Keywords: AFFECT; AFFINITY; DOMESTICITY; INTIMACY; SEXUALITY

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2752/174063108X368319

Publication date: November 1, 2008

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