'Blood, sweat and queers' : (re)imagining global queer citizenship at the Sydney 2002 Gay Games
Burns, Kellie Jean
This thesis takes the Sydney 2002 Gay Games: Under New Skies '02, as a case study into the production of global queer citizenship. In the existing body of work around the Gay Games they are analysed as an international gay and lesbian sporting event (Cramer, 1996; Krane et al., 2001; Pronger, 2000; Waitt, 2005), as a gay and lesbian community event (Krane & Waldron, 2000; Symons, 2002, 2004; Waitt, 2003, 2006), and as a cultural site where discourses of nationality, sport and sexuality converge (Miller, 2001; Probyn, 2000; Rowe et al., 2006; Stevenson et al., 2005; Waitt, 2005; Waitt & Markwell, 2006). This thesis builds on these investigations, asking specific questions about the ways in which discourses of sexuality and citizenship are produced and governed within and across the Sydney 2002 Gay Games promotional and media materials. The analysis is guided by Michel Foucault's notion of governmentality (1991) and the works of related theorists who map the disparate array of neoliberal mechanisms of government that 'conduct the conduct' and 'act on the actions' of individuals and certain populations (Bratich et al., 2003; Gordon, 1991; Larner, 2000; Larner & Walters, 2002, 2004; Miller, 1993; Rabinow & Rose, 2003; Rose, 1996a, 1999). The analysis begins by asking how discourses of the autonomous, neo-liberal subject converge with discourses of 'global living' such that individuals are invited to imagine themselves as increasingly flexible, freedom-loving (Rose, 1999), self-assured, cosmopolitan global citizens. The idea of the global imagination is then used to explore the ways in which the Gay Games commitment to 'total inclusion' and its promise of personal and community transformation rely on similar neo-liberal renderings of tbe subject. It argues that the event's 'political' promises not only normalise certain forms of identity-based consumption (Chasin, 2000), they also (re)produce and normalise a very entrepreneurial, western-centric, cosmopolitan 'brand' of global queer citizenship. The thesis also emphasises the important role that images and image-related technologies played in upholding normative meanings around queer sexuality and queer citizenship at the Games. In doing so, the thesis argues that images and technologies do more than simply represent individuals' lived experiences. Images, it argues, are (inter)active entities that produce and shape individuals' understanding of the 'real' and how they come to know themselves as certain types of subjects. Where the Sydney 2002 Gay Games were concerned, images were integral in producing normative meanings around gender, sexuality and citizenship and in governing participants' experiences as 'locals', 'global visitors', 'athletes', 'cultural participants' and consumers.
Advisor: Burrows, Lisette
Degree Name: Doctor of Philosophy
Degree Discipline: Physical Education
Publisher: University of Otago
Research Type: Thesis
xxii, 260 leaves :ill. (some col.) ; 30 cm. Includes bibliographical references. "September 17, 2007". University of Otago department: School of Physical Education.