- Erotic capital
Erotic capital is power possessed by an
individualas a result of their sexual attractivenessto others. It is one among other species of capital, including social capital, symbolic capital, and cultural capital.
The concept has been developed by sociologist Dr. Adam Isaiah Green (
University of Toronto), who builds on Pierre Bourdieu's (1980) concept of capital. Green defines erotic capital as the qualityand quantityof attributes that an individual possesses which elicit an eroticresponse in another. Some of these attributes may be immutable, such as an individual's race or height, while others may be acquired through fitness training, plastic surgery, or a makeover, among other techniques.
Erotic capital is interconvertible with other forms of capital, as when actors parlay erotic capital into
financial capitalor social capital.
There is no single
hegemonicform of erotic capital. On the contrary, currencies of erotic capital are quite variable, acquiring a hegemonic status in relation to the erotic preferences of highly specialized audiences that distinguish one sexual fieldfrom another (see Green 2005, 2008; Martin and George 2006).
Bourdieu, Pierre. 1980. "The Logic of Practice". Stanford, California: Stanford University Press.
*Green, Adam Isaiah. 2008. "The Social Organization of Desire: The Sexual Fields Approach". "Sociological Theory". 26: 25-50.
*Green, Adam Isaiah. "The Social Organization of Desire", Paper presented at the 2005 Annual
American Sociological Association, Philadelphia.
John Levi Martinand Matt George. 2006. "Theories of Sexual Stratification: Toward an Analytics of the Sexual Field and a Theory of Sexual Capital." "Sociological Theory". 24:107-132.
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