Enduring notions of heterosexuality: a study in contemporary sex and relationships

Whiteman, Julie ORCID: 0000-0001-5750-1488 (2020). Enduring notions of heterosexuality: a study in contemporary sex and relationships. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis is a politicised sociological feminist critique of hegemonic heterosexuality. It questions how hegemonic heterosexuality shapes and informs everyday gendered interactions in the area of sex and relationships using the lens of sexual scripting theory. This thesis presents the findings from my innovative in-depth qualitative empirical study into the lives and thought processes of young adults. It unpacks audience interpretations of music video representations of sex and relationships shedding new light on the complex and dynamic process that is cultural meaning making. I draw on feminist theory, social theory, cultural studies, sexuality studies, communication theory, media theory and social science research theory to argue that the social and sexual scripts underpinning contemporary manifestations of hegemonic heterosexuality in postfeminist media culture enduringly discriminate based on gender, sexuality, race and class despite popular discourse to the contrary. This thesis presents examples of cultural domination in popular culture, theorises how they inform definitions of gender and sexuality, and draws out the implications of this for contemporary notions of sex and relationships. I empirically demonstrate my argument with examples of cultural dissonance, illuminating how contradictions between postfeminist discourses and lived experience were experienced and organised by my participants.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Social Policy, Sociology and Criminology
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/10412


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