Impact of Media and Culture on Constructions of Homomasculinity Among Gay and Queer Men in Aotearoa New Zealand

Martin Kaulback, Elena Maydell


As a cultural industry, the mass media has symbolic power in articulating the prevailing images of society and its members. For minority groups, including gay and queer individuals, this power exerts symbolic violence, in that their identity is constructed as an aberration from a desired norm. This study analyzes the narratives of gay and queer men in Aotearoa, New Zealand, as they negotiate and resist dominant representations of themselves circulating in mainstream media and culture. The participants reflect on the negative impact of cultural themes of hypermasculinity and White heteronormativity on the development of homomasculinity as the core element of their queer identities, which manifests in their perceptions of self-loathing and internalized homophobia. However, the participants also acknowledge unrealistic expectations enforced by mediatized White male beauty standards and express their desire to resist the patriarchal model of masculinity rooted in the colonial settler ideology.


homomasculinity, internalized homophobia, symbolic violence of media, White gay culture, Māori takatāpui identity

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