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Queer skin, straight masks: Same-sex weddings and the discursive construction of identities and affects on a South African website

Journal article
Authors Tommaso M. Milani
Brandon Wolff
Published in Critical Arts
Volume 29
Pages 165-182
ISSN 02560046
Publication year 2015
Published at
Pages 165-182
Language en
Keywords affect, homonormativity, love, multimodality, queer, race, same-sex weddings
Subject categories Gender Studies, General Language Studies and Linguistics, Media and Communications, Languages and Literature


This article showcases an exploratory study of the website of a Cape Town-based company specialising in arranging same-sex weddings. Informed by queer theory, the article deconstructs the discursive strategies - both linguistic and visual - through which same-sex weddings, and the affects attached to them, are represented on the website. Essentially the argument is that the identitarian and affective constructions on this website are not so radically anti-normative, but are a homo version of a well-established heterosexual normality. Same-sex couples who make the choice to get married are portrayed as the epitome of a responsible lifestyle, whereas those who do not are constructed by implication/omission as immoral and irresponsible. Moreover, the queer skin under the otherwise straight masks remains predominantly white. On a more theoretical level, the article argues for an affective turn in the study of consumerism, culture and media in South Africa in order to appreciate how some emotions (but not others) are attached to social class, race, gender and sexuality for marketing purposes.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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