media chapter 9

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Media Studies
Ted Petit

Media CH.9 Queer Analysis - Queer theory – is an interdisciplinary perspective that seeks to disrupt socially constructed systems of meaning surrounding human sexuality - Sexuality is an enduring emotional, romantic, or sexual attraction towards others based upon their gender - Traditionally, sexuality is interpreted as either has heterosexual or homosexual - Queer theorists assert that this traditional understanding misrepresentations the full spectrum of human sexuality - Binary: heterosexuality/homosexuality - Queer theorists work to expose the shortcomings of these labels and show how they work to support systems of social power and privilege - Heteronormativity - refers to a diverse set of social practices that function to perpetuate the heterosexual/homosexual binary and privilege heterosexuality - Hetronormative social roles or powers maintain the distinction b/w heterosexuality and homosexuality out of necessity - Hetronormative practices encourage individuals to identify with heterosexuality from an early age and regularly re-convince people that is mutually exclusive of homosexuality - Sexual othering - the process of stigmatizing homosexuality as abnormal to privilege heterosexuality - There are countless derogatory terms once can use to degrade a non-heterosexual person and many of these words (like gay, faggot or dyke) - GLBTQQIA – refer to all the degrading terms for homosexuals - Queer theory is opposed to individual sexual practices or feelings that we would label heterosexual – these theorists work against the systematic normalization of heterosexuality and not individual heterosexuals - Queer has also come to symbolize a rejection of clear sexual definitions in one’s scholarship, interaction and daily life - Media Studies Queer Analysis continued - The media links heterosexuality to monogamy and homosexuality to promiscuity - Homosexual characters show up less often in American films and when they do they are exhibited as “hyper-sexual” - The lower frequency of homosexual characters in the media coupled with their often inflated appetites results in particularly damaging, stereotypical images - The images of promiscuity is the case even in supposedly GTBTQQIA – friendly programming e.g. the show Queer as Folk or The L Word - Although there is no absolute association b/w a person’s gender
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