|This comprehensive reader brings a social science perspective to an area previously dominated by the humanities. Through it, students will be able to follow the story of how sociology has come to engage with gay and lesbian issues from the 1950s to the present, from the earliest research on the underground worlds of gay men to the emergence of queer theory in the 1990s. Bringing together classic readings and the best work of younger scholars from throughout the English-speaking world, the reader will be an invaluable resource for courses at undergraduate and graduate level in all areas of the sociology of sexuality and gender. Separate sections cover the theoretical foundations, identity and community making, institutions and social change, and challenges for the future. Each section begins with a brief introduction which gives readers a brief guide to the readings in that section, contextualises them and relates them to one another and the book ends with an afterword by Ken Plummer summing up the present state of the field and looking forward to the future.