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Julkaisu (saatavilla verkossa): Tracing ambivalent norms of sexuality: Agony columns, audience responses and parody

Marjo Kolehmaisen artikkeli ”Tracing ambivalent norms of sexuality: Agony columns, audience responses and parody” on nyt ladattavissa  Academia.Edu-sivustolla.

Artikkeli on julkaistu lehdessä Sexualities 15(8): 978–994 (2012), doi: 10.1177/1363460712436822

Artikkelin voi ladata seuraavalta sivustolta: https://uta-fi.academia.edu/MarjoKolehmainen

Artikkelin abstrakti alla:


The article discusses the organization of sexuality in the late modern societies, with emphasis on the significance of humorous style in the doing of sexual norms. The empirical data employed in the study consists of the agony column of the Finnish magazine City and the readers’ online responses to it. The column explores sexual differences and makes a variety of desires public, but also participates in the mass-mediated regulation of sexualities. Furthermore, it parodies the agony column convention, apparently operating as a way to resist formal sex education discourses and normative understandings of sexuality, yet ultimately it contributes to shaping sexual norms in nuanced ways. My research query has three parts. In the first, I focus on the ambivalent construction of normative heterosexuality through emotional mediation and questions of taste. In the second, I examine the connections between non-normative sexualities and other forms of cultural ‘otherness’. In the third, I trace the online responses from readers in order to understand how sexual norms are negotiated. In the data, sexual norms appear situated, as a particular sexual practice can either be approved or disapproved. Despite the general ambiguousness, sexual norms are (re)structured around intersecting social categories, such as gender, class, ‘race’ and ethnicity.


Agony columns, ambivalence, distinction, humour, intersectionality

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