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MDSA01H3 Chapter Notes -Judith Butler, Gender Trouble, Michel Foucault

Media Studies
Course Code
Michael Petit

of 2
9 Queer Analysis
queer theory: an overview
queer theory: an interdisciplinary perspective that seeks to disrupt socially
constructed systems of meaning surrounding human sexuality
sexuality: an enduring emotional, romantic, or sexual attraction toward others
based upon their gender or sex
heterosexuality/ homosexuality binary
there is no actual connection between that word and her individual sexual drives
and practices
while sexuality is particular to each individual, the social construction of
heterosexuality and homosexuality are cultural categories humans use to make
sense of their sexuality
heteronormativity (heterosexism): system of inequity derived from the
heterosexual/ homosexual binary , a diverse set of social practices that function
to perpetuate the heterosexual/ homosexual binary and privilege heterosexuality
sexual othering: the process of stigmatizing homosexuality (or really any non-
heterosexual practice) as abnormal to privilege heterosexuality
queerness visibility I: sexual stereotypes in American media
natural/ deviant
Hollywood has historically used homosexuality as a marker for deviance or
heterosexuality to monogamy
homosexuality to promiscuity
gender clarity/ gender ambiguity
gender androgyny tends to result in a threatening, unsettling sense that things
are not quite right with queer characters and personalities
queerness and visibility II: the problems with positive representation
visibility: the number of queer characters present in the media
representation: the way that those queers act, feel, and engage in storylines
queerness and invisibility: the development of sexuality and gender performativity
discursive construction: a social construction made invisible, natural, normal, and
indeed biological by its discursive aspects
michel foucault and the history of sexuality, volume 1: an introduction
our particular understanding of concepts like madness, healing, or justice are not
simply objective constants that human beings discovered at given moments in
discursive sexuality
at exactly the moment when we began to think of sexuality as a thing improper to
discuss openly, there was a concurrent explosion of discourse surrounding
sexuality in religion, medicine, and politics
the repression hypothesis, that widely help explanation for sexuality, is in fact a
product of a greater discursive power that did not exclude sexuality, but included
it in the body as a mode of specification of individuals
a man could certainly have sex with another man, but this was merely an act, an
individual instance, and not a quality of identity
judith butler and gender trouble: feminism and the subversion of identity
gender performativity: the idea that gender, rather than a coherent component of
identity incorporated through socialization, is in fact a bodily performance of
discourse that exists only because people believe its significant
gender trouble
a queer analysis of invisibility in media texts
consequences of heternormative media representations
people often turn to the media, consciously or unconsciously, in order to form
values around the world we live in today, and those values influence the
impressions we have of ourselves and society
symbolically, the relative absence of positive queer individuals in the media
results in limited models of identification for actual queer populations in the real
people draw upon the stories in the media to learn more about themselves, and
heteronormative system of power limit the amount of positive images with which
members of disempowered groups can identify
a spouse according to the law is a husband or wife as defined or recognized
under state law for purposes of marriage in the state where the employee resides