Erotic capital

From the latest issue of the European Sociological Review:

Madonna flaunted it in her Sex book, and still has it at 50. Jesus Luz, her toyboy lover, clearly has it, but it is rather easier at 22 years. Pierce Brosnan has it, even as he ages, long after dropping the James Bond role. Catherine Deneuve still has it, remaining sexually attractive after she reached 60. The sexy, energetic singer Tina Turner, with her fabulous legs and erotic voice, still had it at in her 50s. The commodity is erotic capital, to which sociological and economic theory have been blind, despite its palpable importance in all spheres of social life. Writers and artists are very sensitive to it. Shakespeare captured it nicely when describing Cleopatra: ‘Age cannot wither her, nor custom dull her infinite variety.’ The expanding importance of self-service mating and marriage markets, speed dating, and Internet dating contributes to the increasing value of erotic capital in the 21st century. Sociology must rise to the challenge of incorporating erotic capital into theory and empirical research.

I see a lot of potential for participant observation.


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