Centre for Intimate and Sexual Citizenship

Part of Department of Sociology and Criminology

Man and woman holding hands

We continue the long tradition of research on sexualities, intimate life and equalities at Essex

Our Centre for Intimate and Sexual Citizenship (CISC) was established in October 2009. We are committed to theory and empirical research within a global and interdisciplinary perspective.


CISC provides an interdisciplinary space for cutting edge theory and research on contemporary intimate life, with particular reference to families, relationships and sexuality. 

Intimate citizenship and sexuality studies

Current Essex scholars are specialists in the study of intimate life, exploring family practices, relationships and sexuality. Our members have a global perspective, doing research in societies in different regions of the globe. They are experts in drawing out the significance of private intimacies for public life.

The Centre for Intimate and Sexual Citizenship also develops the Department of Sociology and Criminology’s rich tradition of sexuality studies. Much pioneering research on sexualities and intimate life originated at Essex in the early 1970s. Leading scholars such as Ken PlummerMary McIntosh and Tony Coxon transformed the field of sexualities, producing classic texts such as Intimate Citizenship: Private Decisions and Public Dialogues (2003).

This tradition continues with the current members of the Centre, who do a range of work engaged with intimacy, equality and citizenship.

Headshot of Dr Róisín Ryan-Flood
"CISC brings together exciting research from internationally renowned scholars and provides an intellectual and pedagogical resources for staff and students. It continues the tremendous tradition at Essex of pioneering work in the field of gender, intimacy and equality. CISC is committed to an intersectional feminist approach to the analysis of intimate life."

Highlights from our research

Our research projects

Members of the Centre work on a range of topics relating to gender, sexuality and intimacy.

Recent projects include:

Recent selected publications



Our events

We have a vibrant intellectual community which we stimulate through regular events, organised throughout the academic year.

Highlights from our events: 


Our journal

Sexualities is a leading international journal and an invaluable resource, publishing articles, reviews and scholarly comment on the shifting nature of human sexualities. The journal adopts a broad, interdisciplinary perspective covering the whole of the social sciences, cultural history, cultural anthropology and social geography, as well as feminism, gender studies, cultural studies and lesbian and gay studies.


Sexualities publishes work of an analytic and ethnographic nature which describes, analyses, theorises and provides a critique on the changing nature of the social organisation of human sexual experience in the late modern world.

Our podcasts

CISC hosts a compelling series of seminar, webinars and symposia with world renowned global scholars that attract large audiences. Selective events are available as podcasts.

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Get in touch
Centre for Intimate and Sexual Citizenship   University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park, Colchester CO4 3SQ
Department of Sociology and Criminology University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, CO4 3SQ
Telephone: 01206 873333