Date of Award

Spring 2020

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Sociology, Anthropology & Criminal Justice; College of Arts & Sciences

First Advisor

Dina Pinsky

Second Advisor

Ana Maria Garcia

Abstract

My thesis is a cross-cultural comparison of the consumption habits of Japanese and American yaoi or boy’s love (BL) fans, with a particular focus on how the motivations for consuming this type of media may differ between each group. Within my literature review, I start with the history of Japanese homoerotica, from Heian era writings and shunga artwork, to how this has evolved into the modern BL industry in Japan. Additionally, I examine where BL media fits into the landscape of both Japanese and global LGBT+ identity politics. Using identity construction and queer feminist theory, I explore how this type of homoerotica is utilized to help marginalized people construct and validate their sexual and gender expressions. This information will be compared to the data I collect within my own empirical research, to demonstrate what cultural values and consumption habits are similar or differ between my American respondents and the Japanese BL community.

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American Identities and the Consumption of Japanese Homoerotica

My thesis is a cross-cultural comparison of the consumption habits of Japanese and American yaoi or boy’s love (BL) fans, with a particular focus on how the motivations for consuming this type of media may differ between each group. Within my literature review, I start with the history of Japanese homoerotica, from Heian era writings and shunga artwork, to how this has evolved into the modern BL industry in Japan. Additionally, I examine where BL media fits into the landscape of both Japanese and global LGBT+ identity politics. Using identity construction and queer feminist theory, I explore how this type of homoerotica is utilized to help marginalized people construct and validate their sexual and gender expressions. This information will be compared to the data I collect within my own empirical research, to demonstrate what cultural values and consumption habits are similar or differ between my American respondents and the Japanese BL community.

 
 

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