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Dr David Alderson: Acting Straight: Reality TV, Gender Self-Consciousness and Forms of Capital

CIGS Seminar Series 2013-14
News and Events

Date: 20 November 2013, 5.00pm
Location: Seminar Room, Beech Grove House

"Straight" acting is a recent coinage to describe men who have sex with other men, but are not considered effeminate. It may even suggest a form of disidentification with the category "gay". This paper looks at the significance of this term in relation to the increased social self-consciousness of gender, especially in relation to sexuality, by focusing on the reality TV series, Playing It Straight. While straight acting is mostly regarded as socially conservative in its appeal to various kinds of norm, it may in some respects also be considered critical of the kinds of "postmodern" gender consciousness promoted under neoliberal conditions.

The paper concludes by discussing the cultural political dynamics of masculinity and effeminacy in relation to regimes of austerity.