'This is an excellent book in an incredibly under-researched area which will have a big impact on a range of debates. Gail Mason brings together sophisticated theoretical insights with well thought-out empirical material to offer new ways of understanding central issues such as power, subjectification, visibility and violence. It will make a major contribution to debates on sexuality and violence and may become a classic in the future.'
Beverley Skeggs, University of Manchester
The Spectacle of Violence explores the issues surrounding violence and hostility towards lesbians and gay men. Drawing on in-depth interviews with women reflecting a range of experiences of verbal hostility, physical violence and sexual violence, Gail Mason asks fundamental questions about where violence comes from and what effects it has. How do lesbians and gay men manage the risk of violence? And what is the relationship between violence and power?
Challenging current thinking, Mason highlights the ways in which different identities, different bodies and different systems of thought interact. She argues for the importance of thinking about homophobic violence in the context of other core issues such as gender and race. Examining the visual nature of violence, she demonstrates how violence infiltrates not just the daily experience of lesbians and gay men, but also the knowledge systems through which we construct and recognise sexual identities.
Focusing on 'real life' experiences of violence, The Spectacle of Violence is an important contribution to current thought about violence. Moving beyond issues of causation and prevention, it offers new ways of theorising the relationship between identity, knowledge and power.
Gail Mason is Lecturer in the Department of Gender Studies at The University of Sydney.