Virginity and Sexual Initiation in Mexico: The Dialogic Negotiation of Meaning

Amuchastegui Herrera, Ana Maria Guadalupe. 1998. Virginity and Sexual Initiation in Mexico: The Dialogic Negotiation of Meaning. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

This research analyzes the construction of meaning of virginity and first sexual intercourse among young men and women in Mexican present society and culture. It documents a process of social change in which discourses of sexuality that had been dominant and unchallenged in Mexico, are now coexisting with modern constructions of subjectivity and sexuality. Sexual meanings are considered to be constructed by at least four different elements: social and local discourses, dialogues and the experience of the body.

From a phenomenological approach based on Bakhtin's and Voloshinov's work, this thesis discusses how individuals' experience of sexuality is linked to these four elements, by looking at the metaphors, stories, voices and rhetoric devices individuals use in their accounts. This is done through the interpretation of 23 conversations carried out with men and women from three different communities: an indigenous town in the south of the country, a rural settlement in central Mexico and an urban neighborhood in Mexico City.

The research situation is considered itself a dialogue, in which both researcher's and participants' discourses are interpreted. Both speakers are conceived as culturally situated and visible, and their interaction is looked at in terms of the negotiation of meaning within a power relationship. Two main categories that were inductively constructed are discussed in light of excerpts of field conversations: a) The construction of gendered subjects of sexuality and the role of sexual knowledge, and b) the moral dimension of sexuality: evil, the sacred and rituals of sexual initiation. The thesis also discusses the relevance of Foucault's work and Western theories on sexuality and gender identity, for the hybrid reality of Latin American present culture.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

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Virginity, Sexual Initiation, Mexico, Metaphors, Stories, Voices, Rhetoric, Sexuality, Sexual Knowledge, Sexual Initiation

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Date Deposited:

07 Jul 2020 10:47

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2022 12:49


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