Date of Graduation
Master of Arts in Communication (MA)
Second Committee Member
gay publications, gay rights, LGBTQ, queer periodicals, queer publications, queer rhetoric
This thesis uses analysis of constitutive rhetoric and queer archival methods to examines how The Advocate used assimilationist rhetoric and consumerist rhetoric in fundamentally anti-democratic ways to consolidate the form of ideal gay consumer-citizenship. Focusing on the first three years of the publication, I utilize queer theory and theories of citizenship and political economy to explain how The Advocate’s rhetoric and mainstream success allowed the publication to normalize a limited and politically weak gay identity. This thesis argues The Advocate’s rhetoric of exclusion, authority, and consumerism were three central features shaping ideal gay consumer-citizenship as most available to people who have privileged and normative identities, making appeals to mainstream authority rather than working within queer communities, and replacing activism with consumption.
Butcher-Spellman, C. B. (2020). Assimilating through Consumption: A Rhetorical History of the Early Years of The Advocate. Theses and Dissertations Retrieved from https://scholarworks.uark.edu/etd/3844