This book provides a much-needed analysis of the changing representation of gay politicians in UK newspapers. Focusing on the 1950s onwards, a time when the press became more personal and gay politicians/politicians involved in gay scandals came to the forefront of media attention, the text uses case-studies and socio-political analysis to develop a frame of representation which shows how a move from intolerance to tolerance to partial recognition of homosexuality has impacted upon the acceptability of homosexuality in 'heterosexual public space', with this then affecting the representation of gay politicians in the press. What was private has now become public, pointing to the fact that gay politicians have mediated personas; their private lives, and sexualities, are lived in/presented through the media. This book reveals insights about representation and the construction of identity through its focus on sexuality, politicians and the media, with the changing line between the private and public an essential concept. Sensationalism and scandal are key issues in the text, with the press coverage of politicians caught up in gay scandals, as well as gay politicians, explored.
The representation of gay politicians in the UK press has so far been underrepresented in media and political studies. Lack of discussion is strange, considering that gay politicians have been at the forefront of the medias attention over the last fifty years. This book provides a much needed contribution to political, media and social history.
Donna Smith has extensive experience in social scientific and political research. She is an Associate Lecturer in Politics and Social Sciences at the Open University, where she also works in faculty management. She completed her Ph.D. at the Open University in 2009, after working in Westminster politics. Her BA (Hons) and MA were studied at the University of East Anglia.
AcknowledgementsIntroductionPART ONE: BUILDING A FRAME OF REPRESENTATION1. The Press, the Personal and News Values2. Issues of Public and Private3. Unifying Key ThemesPART TWO: EXPLORING TRADITIONAL REPRESENTATION4. Histories of Homosexuality: Definition and Discrimination5. Private Lives, Public Consequences: Representation Pre-19806. Immoral Sexuality, Moralistic Press Coverage: Representation 19801990PART THREE: EXPLORING CONTEMPORARY REPRESENTATION7. Histories of Homosexuality: the (Slow) Advancement of Gay Equality8. Scurrilous Politicians, Scandalous Stories: Representation 199019979. Public Life, Public Pressures: Representation Post-1997ConclusionBibliographyIndex