Phallic presence and phallic absence in characterizations of black gay men

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Issue Date
2013-05
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Authors
Daniel, Parker Eugene
Advisor
Demovic, Angela R.
Citation
Abstract

This study provides a critical analysis discourses about black gay men, using critical discourse analysis (CDA) as its methodology. First, the white-institutional-phallus is established as the greater discursive structure driving negating discourses about non-heterosexual black men. Second, languages of bereavement, of phallic "presence" and phallic "absence," are shown to constitute this discourse practice. The study then reveals how the repudiation of black gay men depends on the repudiation of the feminine and, particularly, how anal penetration and emasculation are used as heuristic tropes for the "racial failure" of black gay men because they are constructed by and constitutive of repudiations of the feminine. Finally, analyses of black gay characters in film show this discursive practice in the context of US popular culture and illustrate how black bodies are appropriated for ideological aims. Since phallic scripts ultimately standardize white phallic embodiment by rendering black phallic embodiment "deviant" or "pathological," black men should extricate themselves from phallic discourse and take control of their bodily self-determination, self-representation, and self-definition.

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Thesis (M.A.)--Wichita State University, Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Program of Liberal Studies
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