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Gay families in the media in the age of HIV and AIDS

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Gay families in the media in the age of HIV and AIDS

Zernentsch, Sheri (1998) Gay families in the media in the age of HIV and AIDS. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This thesis investigates print media discourse on gay families in the context of HIV/AIDS and the gay rights movement. Comparing and contrasting reports from the mainstream heterosexual press, the mainstream gay press, and the gay community press, revealed a moral discourse on AIDS that implicated gay men throughout the 1980s. At the same time, a resurgence appeared in religious conservative forces working to recuperate the traditional nuclear family ideal through a family values agenda. The importance of family in gay communities during the 1980s meant that the existence of gay families, legal and social discrimination, and caregiving support, became important components in the gay/AIDS movement. As cases of HIV and AIDS surfaced in hetereosexuals in the late 1980s, and AIDS factored into the traditional home and family domain, a discourse on gay families also started to emerge in the mainstream press. Unlike the media images projected in the previous decade of single promiscuous gay men with AIDS, gay families were presented as normalized: sanitized, monogamous, and AIDS-free, much like the traditional nuclear family. The issues around HIV, AIDS, AIDS stigmatization and discrimination in gay families were left unmentioned in these reports. The contextualization of HIV/AIDS and gay families also waned in the gay community press during the 1990s as a result of changing attitudes around disease, death, and the family, although gay families continue to be talked about in the context of gay rights.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Communication Studies
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Zernentsch, Sheri
Pagination:104 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (M.A.)
Program:Communication Studies
Date:1998
Thesis Supervisor(s):Nadeau, Chantal
ID Code:614
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:13
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:15
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