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dc.contributor.advisorMoore, Paul S.
dc.creatorThorn, Michael Edward
dc.date.accessioned2015-08-28T15:37:35Z
dc.date.available2015-08-28T15:37:35Z
dc.date.copyright2015-02-24
dc.date.issued2015-08-28
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10315/30080
dc.description.abstractThe “ex-gay” movement does not encourage people to pray the gay away but confess it away. As a loose organization of mostly Christian ministries and psychotherapy practices offering “freedom from homosexuality,” the movement utilizes religious and psychological confessions of sin and disease and testimonies of truth and belief as technologies of both self-sacrifice and identity formation. The aim is to control unwanted same-sex desire through life-long labour and struggle and to sacrifice one’s gay or lesbian identity for an ex-gay identity. However, in the debate surrounding the movement, those opposed use confessions of trauma and harm, and testimonies of their own truth and belief, to try and sacrifice the movement in favour of gay and lesbian identities. Confession and testimony, then, underlie the discourses and practices of all involved in ex-gay truth games as two sides of the same coin. Although the movement formed in the 1970s, this dissertation analyzes it from the 1990s, when, in alliance with the Christian Right, it “came out of the closet” through a cross-platform advertising campaign that generated fifteen years’ worth of “earned media” in news and popular culture entertainment. By deploying an economic discourse of consumer choice, the movement hoped to justify itself as a legitimate form of intervention while the Christian Right hoped to use it to encourage the repeal of gay rights legislation. Those tactics backfired, resulting in a consumer fraud lawsuit, legislation banning conversion therapy for minors, and scathing critiques and satires in mainstream popular culture. However, the movement has legitimized itself within its own conservative Christian communities. In this dissertation I show that limiting the ex-gay debate to commercialized and politicized concepts and strategies neglects the real problem at the heart of the controversy: the paradoxical use of confessions of self-renunciation and true-belief as technologies of self-emergence sacrifices the self to unstable and “fundamentalist” truth games; on both sides of the debate. Using a Foucauldian discourse analysis, I treat the movement as a mediated cultural phenomenon currently constituted by cost-benefit calculations and marketing protocols but historically constituted by the psychological and religious governmentalities that pervade its thought and practices.
dc.language.isoen
dc.rightsAuthor owns copyright, except where explicitly noted. Please contact the author directly with licensing requests.
dc.subjectReligion
dc.subjectCommunication
dc.subjectGLBT studies
dc.titleConfess the Gay Away? Media, Religion, and the Political Economy of Ex-Gay Therapy
dc.typeElectronic Thesis or Dissertationen_US
dc.degree.disciplineCommunication & Culture, Joint Program with Ryerson University
dc.degree.namePhD - Doctor of Philosophy
dc.degree.levelDoctoral
dc.date.updated2015-08-28T15:37:35Z
dc.subject.keywordsEx-gay
dc.subject.keywordsEx-gay Movement
dc.subject.keywordsEx-gay Debate
dc.subject.keywordsConversion Therapy
dc.subject.keywordsReparative Therapy
dc.subject.keywordsChristianity
dc.subject.keywordsPsychology
dc.subject.keywordsPsychiatry
dc.subject.keywordsConfession
dc.subject.keywordsTestimony
dc.subject.keywordsPrayer
dc.subject.keywordsPray the Gay Away
dc.subject.keywordsSacrifice
dc.subject.keywordsTruth
dc.subject.keywordsTrue Belief
dc.subject.keywordsTrue Believer
dc.subject.keywordsTrauma
dc.subject.keywordsHarm
dc.subject.keywordsFundamentalism
dc.subject.keywordsEvangelicalism
dc.subject.keywordsChristian Right
dc.subject.keywordsGay Christian
dc.subject.keywordsThe Bible
dc.subject.keywordsSin
dc.subject.keywordsDisease
dc.subject.keywordsReligion
dc.subject.keywordsHomosexuality
dc.subject.keywordsLGBT
dc.subject.keywordsSexuality
dc.subject.keywordsSexual Orientation
dc.subject.keywordsSexual Orientation Conversion Efforts
dc.subject.keywordsSame-sex Desire
dc.subject.keywordsDesire
dc.subject.keywordsIdentity
dc.subject.keywordsIdentity Politics
dc.subject.keywordsTruth Games
dc.subject.keywordsNeoliberalism
dc.subject.keywordsNeoconservatism
dc.subject.keywordsRational Choice
dc.subject.keywordsAdvertising
dc.subject.keywordsConsumer Choice
dc.subject.keywordsConsumer Fraud
dc.subject.keywordsCost-Benefit Ratio
dc.subject.keywordsEarned Media
dc.subject.keywordsMass Media
dc.subject.keywordsPopular Culture
dc.subject.keywordsTelevision
dc.subject.keywordsFilm
dc.subject.keywordsNews
dc.subject.keywordsGovernmentality
dc.subject.keywordsFoucault
dc.subject.keywordsCommodification
dc.subject.keywordsCommercialization
dc.subject.keywordsStructuration
dc.subject.keywordsMediation
dc.subject.keywordsMedia Studies
dc.subject.keywordsDiscourse Analysis
dc.subject.keywordsPolitical Economy
dc.subject.keywordsCommunication Studies
dc.subject.keywordsCultural Studies
dc.subject.keywordsReligious Studies
dc.subject.keywordsPublic Sphere
dc.subject.keywordsDr. Robert Spitzer
dc.subject.keywordsAlan Chambers


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