Queer/error : gay media systems and processes of abjection

Rodgers, Jessica & Parkhill, Chad (2010) Queer/error : gay media systems and processes of abjection. In Nunes, Mark (Ed.) Error : Glitch, Noise and Jam in New Media Cultures. Continuum International Publishing Group, New York, pp. 211-231.

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Gay community media functions as a system with three nodes, in which the flows of information and capital theoretically benefit all parties: the gay community gains a sense of cohesion and citizenship through media; the gay media outlets profit from advertisers’ capital; and advertisers recoup their investments in lucrative ‘pink dollar’ revenue. But if a necessary corollary of all communication systems is error or noise, where—and what—are the errors in this system?

In this paper we argue that the ‘error’ in the gay media system is Queerness, and that the gay media system ejects (in a process of Kristevan abjection) these Queer identities in order to function successfully. We examine the ways in which Queer identities are excluded from representation in such media through a discourse and content analysis of The Sydney Star Observer (Australia’s largest gay and lesbian paper). First, we analyse the way Queer bodies are excluded from the discourses that construct and reinforce both the ideal gay male body and the notions of homosexual essence required for that body to be meaningful. We then argue that abject Queerness returns in the SSO’s discourses of public health through the conspicuous absence of the AIDS-inflicted body (which we read as the epitome of the abject Queer), since this absence paradoxically conjures up a trace of that which the system tries to expel. We conclude by arguing that because the ‘Queer error’ is integral to the SSO, gay community media should practise a politics of Queer inclusion rather than exclusion.

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ID Code: 40870
Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional URLs:
Keywords: gay media
ISBN: 9781441121202
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > OTHER STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (169900) > Gender Specific Studies (169901)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > COMMUNICATION AND MEDIA STUDIES (200100) > Media Studies (200104)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > CULTURAL STUDIES (200200) > Culture Gender Sexuality (200205)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Schools > Journalism, Media & Communication
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2010 Continuum International Publishing Group
Deposited On: 23 Mar 2011 04:33
Last Modified: 22 May 2013 23:57

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