Forthcoming conference presenation Mapping Affective Capacities: Gender and Sexuality in Relationship and Sex Counselling Practices by Marjo Kolehmainen (ESA conference, 20-23 August 2019)

Marjo Kolehmainen will give a conference paper titled Mapping Affective Capacities: Gender and Sexuality in Relationship and Sex Counselling Practices at the 14th Conference of the European Sociological Association, to be held 20-23 August, 2019 in Manchester under the theme Europe and Beyond: Boundaries, Barriers and Belonging.

The presentation is part of the session Theorizing materialism and the human in sexuality. The abstract can be found below:

Mapping Affective Capacities: Gender and Sexuality in Relationship and Sex Counselling Practices

Drawing on fieldwork on relationship enhancement seminars in Finland, this presentation examines how gendered and sexualized power relations are (re)produced in therapeutic practices. It applies the Deleuzian idea of affective capacities to the analysis of gender and sexuality, understanding gender and sexuality as about ‘becoming’ rather than ‘being’. This kind of framework builds upon the new materialist ontology, where the focus is on what bodies and things do – rather than what they are. The analysis of different event-assemblages shows how gendering and sexualizing happen through diminishing and augmenting bodies’ capacities to affect and be affected. In this way, the focus of analysis becomes not only what bodies can do, but what they are made to do. The presentation concludes that the very relations that diminish some capacities may increase other capacities, which is central to the dynamics through which gender and sexuality work in and on bodies.
Kolehmainen has previously published a book chapter on a similar topic in Juvonen, Tuula & Marjo Kolehmainen (eds) (2018): Affective Inequalities in Intimate Relationships. London: Routledge.