A book about the world of drag queens in a Key West nightclub written by two UC Santa Barbara researchers has won the American Sociological Association's (ASA) annual Sex and Gender Section 2005 prize.
Verta Taylor, professor and chair of sociology, and Leila J. Rupp, professor and chair of women's studies, will receive their award at this month's annual meeting of the ASA in Philadelphia.
In "Drag Queens at the 801 Cabaret," Taylor and Rupp explore how drag queens (men who dress and perform publicly as women) erase the boundaries between gay and straight and man and woman, and, according to the authors, "make people think more deeply and realistically about sex and gender in America today."
Based on a three-year study of more than a dozen drag queens, the book "allows us to understand how the commercialization of gay culture, in fact, has the potential to educate and challenge mainstream consumers," the authors write.
Taylor and Rupp are the authors of several books, including "Survival in the Doldrums:
The American Women's Rights," "Worlds of Women:
The Making of an International Women's Movement" (Rupp), "A Desired Past:
A Short History of Same-Sex Love in America" (Rupp), and "Rock-a-by Baby: Feminism, Self-Help, and Postpartum Depression" (Taylor).
They are also co-editors of "Feminist Frontiers."