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The Declining Significance of HomophobiaHow Teenage Boys are Redefining Masculinity and Heterosexuality$
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Mark McCormack

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199778249

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199778249.001.0001

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Homosexually Themed Language

Homosexually Themed Language

(p.109) 10 Homosexually Themed Language
The Declining Significance of Homophobia

Mark McCormack

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the changing nature of homosexually-themed language. Given media interest in the phrase ‘that’s so gay,’ the chapter demonstrates that the meanings and effects of phrases with a gay theme are entirely dependent on the social context of their use and the homohysteria of the broader environment. Mapping homophobic language, fag discourse, gay discourse and pro-gay language, the chapter provides an accessible model to understand the complex relationship of these concepts. Despite ‘that’s so gay’ being generally perceived as a homophobic epithet by gay rights groups, it is suggested that a more nuanced understanding of language is required; one that recognizes that such phrases can even be used to bond gay and straight students.

Keywords:   that’s so gay, language, discourse, homophobia, banter, homosexual, model

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