Date of Award

2006

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours

School

Communications and Creative Industries

Faculty

Faculty of Education & Arts

First Advisor

Nicola Kaye

Abstract

Gay Culture is largely informed and influenced by the wider social values and systems that surround it. Commodity culture infiltrates every area of day-to-day living, and is no less influential within gay culture. Images presented by the media, particularly gay targeting media such as DNA magazine, show a male body as almost exclusively young, muscular, good-looking and of western appearance. The continuously repeated image of the male body as being of only one specific type can be problematic within a minority culture as it can lead to exclusion for those who do not measure up to the standards. While acceptance is a necessary means of reinforcing a positive identity within gay culture, challenging the set standards could lead to liberation from stereotypes. Social change is still necessary within gay culture, as equality and acceptance are still lacking in many areas. By examining gay history and politics, consumer culture, gay art and my own creative practice, I am attempting to greater understand the cultures which frame and contextualise not only my work but also my identity. This dissertation is an attempt to be self-reflexive, and to realise that it is possible to be part of yet critical of the culture that informs my identity. My practice has become a site of interrogation, challenging images of the male body as presented as commodity to the gay community.

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