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Title: Aspirational identity in British 'gay masculinity', 1991-2011
Author: Searle, Kenneth Andrew
ISNI:       0000 0004 5359 6127
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis provides a new direction to studies of “gay masculinity”, examining the impact a consumerist approach has had on the two bestselling “gay” lifestyle(s) magazines between 1991 and 2011: 'Attitude' and 'GT' (previously known as 'Gay Times'). In both magazines over the period covered, the desire for a “successful” identity as understood through neo-liberal discourse is demonstrated through textual analysis of the aspirational discourse and images (re)presented in both publications, specifically assessing the importance placed on signifiers of consumerism and celebrity role models. In selecting the most-read lifestyle(s) magazines in Britain over the period under study, I was able to understand how mainstream forms of “gay masculine” identity had increasingly been underpinned by discourse pertaining to consumerism as opposed to campaigns against perceived homophobia and inequality. In arguing that a neo-liberal binary of “success” and “failure” has become increasingly prevalent since 1991, with signifiers (re)constructing the former as aspirational, this thesis also notes that 'Attitude' and 'Gay Times' have remained uniquely directed at an explicitly “gay” audience, with emphasis being placed on homonormative forms of “success” being an easily attainable norm.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HM Sociology ; HT Communities. Classes. Races ; PN0441 Literary History