Ken Plummer

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Born in 1946, Plummer studied at Enfield College and the London School of Economics and Political Science. Along with Jeffrey Weeks, he was an original member of the London Gay Liberation Front (GLF) in the 1970s. After completing his PhD on Sexual Stigma he took up lecturing in sociology at Essex University in 1975.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s Plummer published at a prodigious rate, notably The Making of the Modern Homosexual (1981), Documents of Life (1983), Symbolic Interaction, I and II (1991), Modern Homosexualities (1992), Telling Sexual Stories (1995), Documents of Life-2: An invitation to a critical humanism (2001) and Intimate Citizenship (2003). Since 1998 Plummer has edited the internationally renowned journal, Sexualities. He has also taught extensively at the University of California at Santa Barbara. Despite undergoing a serious operation, Plummer has resumed his teaching work at Essex.

During the last thirty years, Ken Plummer’s work has been at the forefront of social constructionist and sociological understandings of intimacy and sexual identities. Throughout his career he has never shied away from controversy, especially in regard to discussions of taboo sexual subjects such as pedophilia. Whereas his earlier work was substantially influenced by symbolic interactionist contributions to sexuality, significantly Simon and Gagnon, his later works on the unfolding proliferation of intimate stories, drew insights from narrative analysis and Queer Theory.

See link to his website at

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