Media reception, sexual identity, and public space
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In an attempt to trace the ongoing process of forming and negotiating gay identities in response to historical events and media texts, this dissertation explores the intersections between gay men, media reception, and public space in relation to a number of historically and socially significant film and television texts: Cruising (1980), Parting Glances (1986), Longtime Companion (1990), Philadelphia (1993), and Any Mother’s Son (1997). This dissertation examines these texts within the framework of historical materialist analysis, while incorporating the insights of cultural geography. These analyses demonstrate the importance of studying historical audiences while understanding audience members as not only media consumers, but social subjects located within social space who reflect upon, respond to, and adapt to the ways in which social space enables and constrains their politics, desires, memories, and affective experiences.