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Title: "Looking, seeking, & finding": Mediatised iconisation of sexual non-conformity in Singapore
Issue Date: 16-Apr-2018
Citation: JARREN LYE WEN LIANG (2018-04-16). "Looking, seeking, & finding": Mediatised iconisation of sexual non-conformity in Singapore. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This thesis problematises the current representation of Singaporean gay men in locally-produced media from a viewpoint of language, gender, and sexuality. By using a YouTube drama series, People Like US (2016) based on Singapore, this study’s goal is to advocate for holistic media representations of Singaporean gay men, and by extension, the LGBTQ+ community. In addition to the media data, I also collected interview data from selected viewers for this study. The investigations are largely discussed in three separate sections in order to address the issues pertinent to my overall research goal—selected mediatisation processes of local gay men; their (non-)conformity to the national values; and the resulting negative images of local gay men in our society. First, guided by Agha’s (2011a,b) framework of mediation and mediatisation, a multimodal analysis was carried on various aspects of the series, from its production decisions to the content. Further, by applying theoretical ideas of iconisation and erasure (Irvine & Gal, 2000), I investigate the specific aspects of the gay identity and lifestyle that are being naturalised and those that are are rendered invisible. Second, I conduct discursive analysis by exploring the ways that the series highlight the gay community’s non-conformity to the national norms by comparing the series’ contents against Singapore’s national values. Finally, using Cultivation Theory (Gerbner & Gross, 1972), I argue that the general representations of gay men in people in People Like US can result in the formation of negative perceptions towards the Singaporean gay community, both by community members themselves and the general Singaporean population. This conclusion is well-supported in the interview data. While there exist some iconised ideologies of Singapore gay men in our society, few linguistic studies have investigated their media representations from a critical viewpoint. Thus, it is my hope that, through linguistic and multimodal observations of my data, this study challenges naturalised misrepresentations of local gay men’s community. Furthermore, I hope this study raises awareness about how mundane naturalisation processes take place against members’ of LGBTQ+ community through popular media.
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses (Restricted)

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