Sexual Bargaining in the Digital Era

Sexual Bargaining in the Digital Era

Crafting a New Normal

By John H. Scanzoni

Sexual Bargaining in the Digital Era follows the evolution of genders/sexualities and so on away from their Old Normal pattern, which prevailed during the Agricultural Age and the Industrial Age, and into the New Normal pattern which is currently surfacing in concert with an emerging Digital Era.

Hardback, 250 Pages


August 2021

£80.00, $125.00

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About This Book

The central theme of Sexual Bargaining in the Digital Era is the ongoing (historic and present) struggle between the theocratically oriented Old Lights who insist on using the law to continue to impose the Old Normal (ON) on all other citizens—including the New Lights. The latter are progressives, feminists and others who advocate the notion that there is a social and economic “fit” between the New Normal (NN) and the emerging Digital Era. New Lights also argue that NN is exceedingly more beneficial for less advantaged persons (including those of color) than is ON. 

The Old Lights argue from a traditional religious standpoint. To help impose their theocratic view of the Family, they have recently joined forces with the extreme right-wing elements of the Republican party. That union of reactionary religion with reactionary politics is particularly detrimental to the well-being of less-advantaged persons.

The book also describes public policies and programs advocated by New Lights which are aimed at benefiting less-advantaged persons in particular (though not exclusively). Included are “Ideation Centers.” That is the contemporary label replacing the traditional label of “school.” Traditional schools were linked with the Industrial Age, but now tend to falter when it comes to preparing children/youth (especially less-advantaged) for the Digital Era.

Ideation centers are publicly funded sites whose central objective is to coach students in what some economists describe as ideation skills/capabilities—critical/creative thinking, negotiation and problem solving. Those are the very skills necessary to do well in the Digital Era and thus it is essential that less-advantaged children/youth have ready access to the centers. Those skills are also required to negotiate primary relationships (PR) effectively. Hence, ideation centers fulfil vital functions for both the public/economic/work world, and also for the personal world of PR.

Furthermore, in order to do well in the Digital Era women must be what the book calls “autonomous.” Indeed, the notion of growing numbers of women becoming autonomous is pivotal to the whole idea of NN. An autonomous woman is, first of all, in control of, or sovereign over what Marx/Engels called the “means of production.” Economic production refers to the kinds of educational and occupational experiences which enable her, among other things, to be economically independent (able to support herself and any dependants)—apart from a partner if need be.

Alongside production is reproduction. The autonomous woman controls not only the economic sphere of her life but also the sexual/reproductive sphere. The two spheres reinforce one another—control in one sphere enhances control over the other: Women who control their sexual/reproductive sphere are better able to control their economic sphere and vice versa. Needless to say, control over reproduction requires ready access to the most effective methods of contraception and access to safe abortion. For less-advantaged women, the costs of either or both would be borne by the state. 


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Author Information

John H. Scanzoni is a sociologist with a long interest in the study of historic and contemporary changes in genders/marriages/families/relationships/sexualities.


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Table of Contents

Preface; Part I: Then and Now—Mid-20th to Mid-21st Century; Chapter 1—From Patriarchal Script to Egalitarian Improv; Part II: A Declaration of Women’s Autonomy; Chapter 2—Control over the Means of Economic Production; Chapter 3—Control over the Means of Sexualities and Reproduction; Chapter 4—Playing a Win-Win Game; Part III: Policies and Programs for a New Normal; Chapter 5—Ideation Centers, Villages/Fictive Kin and Enrichment Centers; Chapter 6—"The Arc of the Moral Universe … Bends Toward Justice”.


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