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By Tamsin Wilton

Neither women's experiences nor lesbian and homosexual experiences bargains an sufficient theoretical or political base for lesbian scholarship. Lesbian experiences: environment and time table objective to advertise lesbian experiences as a tutorial and political method of either gender and the erotic, and to elucidate the dangerous impact of heterosexism throughout a number disciplines. Drawing on feminism and queer idea, Tamsin Wilton argues that `lesbian' is a theoretical place which needs to be largely on hand with a view to problem the dominance of the heterosexual point of view. enticing with theoretical and political debates, the publication strikes past its function of environment an schedule for lesbian experiences right into a wider function as source and catalysts for an individual attracted to gender and the erotic.

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Only by an active and vigorous exchange across the boundaries of ‘further’ and ‘higher’ education can lesbian studies succeed in establishing a firm academic base while remaining accessible to and stimulated by the very community from which it grew. CONCLUSION—FOR NOW Lesbian studies is a complex, amorphous and shifting entity. In the process of developing a distinct academic infrastructure, it must also remain accessible to and supportive of the grass roots lesbian community. It must provide a safe and stimulating learning environment for lesbian students, teachers and researchers, while at the same time challenging heterosexist bias and anti-lesbianism in the academy more generally.

Foucault 1979) Homosexuality (including, by definition, lesbianism, though Foucault has been justly criticised for his neglect of gender) is understood by Foucault as a construct delineated by, expressive of and maintaining the hegemony of the sets of beliefs and doctrines about sexual behaviour dominant at any one time and in any one place. The radical idea that homosexuality itself is an historically recent concept, and that in the past the behaviours we call homosexual have not necessarily been regarded as indicative of a discrete type of person, has been influential in determining current discursive constructs of ‘homosexual’ and ‘lesbian’.

Traditional heterosexual sociology has adopted an anthropological approach to lesbians (and gay men) as representative of a culture, almost 22 The nature of lesbian studies a species, which is entirely ‘other’ to the curious or disgusted voyeurism of the dominant heterosexual group. Increasingly, accounts of lesbian and gay life and culture are being published by lesbians and gay men themselves, though very little sociological research by lesbians for lesbians is currently available, and almost none which goes beyond the collection of and reflection on life stories or coming-out stories.

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