Stephen O. Murray

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Stephen O. Murray earned a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Toronto. After completing a postdoctoral stint in anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, he worked in the public-health field in San Francisco. He is an extraordinary scholar who's dazzled me and many others by his versatility with anthropological studies virtually on every region of the globe in addition to his sparkling contributions (more than anyone else wrote) about early gay scholars in Before Stonewall

In an ambitious series of publications, he has sought to throw-light on same-sex behavior in many societies. As his field work was in Latin America, he was able to combine practical findings and theoretical insights, especially with regard to those societies that combine Amerindian and European strands. He then extended the approach to East Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and historical Islam. Nor was the United States left out, as in Murray's provocative 1996 book American Gay. Earlier, with regard to the US, he had introduced the valuable concept of “deassimilation,” for the various groups, ethnic and otherwise, who chose to opt out of the American consensus by deliberately accentuating their distinctiveness. Still evident in the extravagance of the gay-pride marches, the siren call of deassimilation now seems to be fading, as many gay and lesbian people opt for a conventional suburban lifestyle.

Stephen O. Murray’s books include:

Heterogender Homosexuality in Honduras, Writers Club Press, 2002
Boy-Wives and Female Husbands: Studies of African Homosexualities, Palgrave Macmillan, 2001
Islamic Homosexualities: Culture, History, and Literature, New York University Press, 1997
American Gay (Worlds of Desire: The Chicago Series on Sexuality, Gender, and Culture), University of Chicago Press, 1996
Latin American Male Homosexualities, University of New Mexico Press, 1995
Social Theory, Homosexual Realities, Gay Academic Union, 1984

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