The straight guy who sleeps solely with men: A deep semiotic analysis of hegemonic parameters in the American television serial Empire
Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
The study that follows is a deep semiotic analysis meant to shed a light on which ideologies the serial represents and communicates to its audience.
In my analysis I have used the terms homonormativity and homosubversity to divide the different discursive codes and thus see if it was the former or the latter that the production of Empire preferred. These terms have been used in relation to hegemony, ideology and discourse to fully grip the connection between production and reception.
The study consists of an analysis of the overall narrative of the serial in its entity with focus on the gay character Jamal, in relation to John Fiske’s concept of reality, representation and ideology, and then a deeper semiotic analysis of three strategically chosen scenes. This division was done simply so that I could perceive the show both in terms of representation and semiotic signs, but also the interrelations between production and audience which gives the show its meaning and ideological power.
My analyses showed that Empire is an epithet of hegemony as a moving equilibrium. While the representation of the character Jamal as a gay man may resist homonormative rules in some ways, it reinforces it in others. The serial mostly incorporates homosexuality in the vicinity of heteronormative ideology, but prefers a discourse of homosexual superiority where masculine hegemony even in gay men, is the only way to achieve fair inclusion. The preference of masculinity is done on the expense of femininity.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 51 p.
homosubversity, representation, hegemony, ideology, homonormativity, heteronormativity, semiotics, discourse
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-27698OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-27698DiVA: diva2:820379
Subject / course
Media and Communication Studies
UppsokSocial and Behavioural Science, Law
Forsman, Michael, Högskolelektor
Bolin, Göran, Professor