File(s) under permanent embargo
Honk against homophobia : rethinking relations between media and sexual minorities
journal contributionposted on 09.08.2013, 00:00 authored by Paul VenzoPaul Venzo, Kristy HessKristy Hess
The theory of “symbolic annihilation” or “symbolic violence” has been used in academic literature to describe the way in which sexual minorities have been ignored, trivialized, or condemned by the media. This article aims to de-center research from issues of media representation to consider the capacity for minority groups to proactively use new media and its various avenues for interactivity, social networking, and feedback to fight social exclusion. This work suggests that new media has become a space in which the nominally marginal in society may acquire “social artillery”—a term used to describe how sexual minorities utilize their expanding and more readily accessible social connections in digital space to combat instances of homophobia. The research draws on the results of an inquiry into the relation between media and a regional youth social justice group in Australia tackling homophobia. The research demonstrates that the group is becoming increasingly adept and comfortable with using a cross-section of media platforms to fulfill their own objectives, rather than seeing themselves as passive subjects of media representation. This article argues that this sets an example for other socially excluded groups looking to renegotiate their relation with the media in regional areas.