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"God loves you and it gets better": Ideology, deixis and agency in an anti-homophobic bullying viral campaign

McGuirk, Siobhan. 2014. "God loves you and it gets better": Ideology, deixis and agency in an anti-homophobic bullying viral campaign. Journal of Language and Sexuality, 3(2), pp. 219-244. ISSN 2211-3770 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

The ‘It Gets Better Project’ (IGBP) is an online initiative addressing anti-homophobic bullying and directed at lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth. To date, 50,000 user-generated IGBP videos have attracted over 50 million views. In this critical discourse analysis of IGBP videos in the “Faith” category, I note how the projected ideologies therein overlap with and depart from conservative Christian rhetoric in surprising ways. I ask what gets better, for whom, and how might that happen? I then compare messages uploaded by laypeople and spokespeople of religious institutions. I argue that neoliberal assumptions are frequently evident in laypeople’s emphases on individualism, economic success, urban spaces and heteronormative conceptions of time. Spokespeople, conversely, tend to contest such perspectives by emphasizing community-based opposition to homophobia in the here and now. I conclude that this ideological struggle highlights pervasive barriers for “it getting better” in the present but also create space for a politics of redistribution and the unexpected queering of societal norms.

Item Type:

Article

Identification Number (DOI):

https://doi.org/10.1075/jls.3.2.03gui

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Anthropology

Dates:

DateEvent
2014Published

Item ID:

23344

Date Deposited:

24 May 2018 14:31

Last Modified:

07 Aug 2018 15:27

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.

URI:

http://research.gold.ac.uk/id/eprint/23344

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