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CammingMoney, Power, and Pleasure in the Sex Work Industry$
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Angela Jones

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781479842964

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479842964.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 06 July 2022

The Pleasure Deficit

The Pleasure Deficit

Toward a Sociological Theory of Pleasure

(p.19) 1 The Pleasure Deficit

Angela Jones

NYU Press

Pleasure has been a focal point of both theoretical and empirical work across a wide range of disciplines for millennia. Surprisingly, however, sociology has had very little to say about the importance of pleasure in shaping social action, the ways that society constructs what pleasure is, and how we experience pleasure. We desperately need a sociological theory of pleasure to unpack the ways that pleasure both motivates human behavior and mediates social interactions. Pleasure refers to infinitely different sets of gratifying social experiences. Pleasure is a social experience controlled by regulatory forces, and the routine sacrifice of pleasure is a hallmark of social life. The sacrifices of pleasure provide structure and order to society and its institutions; yet the sacrifice of pleasure is embedded with power, and in this process, human freedom is limited and people are subjugated. This chapter raises the question, What would it look like for sociologists, generalists, and those individuals in various sociological subfields to place pleasure at the center of their analyses? This chapter offers readers a distinctively sociological theory of pleasure, which lays the groundwork for an entirely new subfield in sociology—the sociology of pleasure.

Keywords:   pleasure, theory, power, sociology of pleasure

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