Queer Production: The Political Economy of Print Advertisements




Trujillo, Valerie Ann

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Studies of mass media render the discursive power of advertisements as sites of identity construction reflecting cultural hegemony. Using ethnographic content analysis, this study explores the production of Queer identity through the political economy of print advertisements in The Advocate and Curve from 2000-2002. Over 1,000 advertisements were examined based on four schematic themes: race, sex and gender, relationship and family status, visual cues, and textual messages. Men are more likely than women to be portrayed within gender normative scripts in relation to their status as the ideal representation of the Queer niche market. As compared to Caucasians, African Americans are branded through restricted representation by visibility, product type, and sexual appeal. Furthermore, advertisements reveal a cooptation of language for political rights in exchange for consumer liberties. The findings show evidence that support the role of niche marketing in the commodification and homogenization of Queer identity in consumer society privileging men over women, Caucasian over African American, and normative over marginalized.



content analysis, sex role in advertising, market segmentation, identity


Trujillo, V. A. (2005). Queer production: The political economy of print advertisements (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.


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