Social norms, inequality and homophobia in The New York Times' Advertising business news

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Abstract

This research is a critical analysis of a random sample of advertising business news articles published in The New York Times between 1970-2000. An institution greatly impacting the perception, definition and judgment of sexuality, The Times reveals multiple trends in advertiser avoidance and pursuit of sexual minorities as consumers of mainstream products. One trend, corporate avoidance, exemplifies how Times articles manifest inequality of representation, visibility and interest in gay men, lesbians, bisexuals and trans-persons. Although GLBTs experienced increased business news coverage over time, gay men consistently received twice the coverage as lesbians, while bisexual and transpersons remained invisible. Both advertisers and The Times changed from stigmatizing and avoiding homosexuals to promoting the stereotype of gay affluence. However, although commodification of social identity worked to promote a 'gay market niche,' it reflected a homogenized understanding of sexuality. Rather than provide social legitimation, visibility mirrored social cleavages based on race, class and gender characteristic of broader American society. Ultimately, alternative expressions to heterosexuality remained unconventional, spectacular and stereotyped.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication99th American Sociological Association 2004 Annual Meeting
EditorsAmerican Sociological Association
Place of PublicationUSA
PublisherASA
Pages1-21
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2004
EventAmerican Sociological Association Annual Meeting - San Francisco CA, New Zealand
Duration: 14 Aug 200417 Aug 2004

Conference

ConferenceAmerican Sociological Association Annual Meeting
CountryNew Zealand
Period14/08/0417/08/04

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Ragusa, A. T. (2004). Social norms, inequality and homophobia in The New York Times' Advertising business news. In A. S. Association (Ed.), 99th American Sociological Association 2004 Annual Meeting (pp. 1-21). ASA.