Straight lines? Re-reading the discourse of straight-acting for subversive effect

Date created: 
2017-08-08
Identifier: 
etd10279
Keywords: 
Gay men
Straight-acting
Masculinity
Queer
Discourse
Grindr
Abstract: 

Engaging with a rich history of gay masculinities, this research analyzes the contemporary discourse of straight-acting as a site of masculine identification for gay men within the context of queer liberalism. Mapping the discourse from a poststructuralist, queer perspective, straight-acting is on one hand theorized as a continuation of a discourse that promotes a valorization of normative configurations of masculinity, with an eye to its potential as a performative subversion of the ‘naturalness’ of heteromasculinity. Through an autoethnographic analysis of the geosocial gay hook-up app Grindr, the research argues that the contemporary discourse of straight-acting is a reflection/function of particular neoliberal norms of self-discipline vis-à-vis the digital app space. Conversely, the potentials for straight-acting to problematize the coherence of a sexual binaristic logic points toward the destabilizing quality of straight-acting when speculated upon beyond queer liberalist functions, turning to face the possibility of resignification for subversive effect.

Document type: 
Thesis
Rights: 
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes. Copyright remains with the author.
File(s): 
Senior supervisor: 
Jennifer Marchbank
Peter Dickinson
Department: 
Arts & Social Sciences: Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies
Thesis type: 
(Thesis) M.A.
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