Alexandria Digital Research Library

The Bears: Exploring the Alternative Sexual Aesthetics of a Gay Male Subculture

Author:
Caputi, Robert
Degree Grantor:
University of California, Santa Barbara.Sociology
Degree Supervisor:
O'brienTaylor JodiVerta
Place of Publication:
[Santa Barbara, Calif.]
Publisher:
University of California, Santa Barbara
Creation Date:
2011
Issued Date:
2011
Topics:
Sociology
Keywords:
sexuality
subculture
masculinities
Description:

In this dissertation, I examine the ways in which gender, appearance, and erotics are enacted, constructed, and negotiated by a gay male sexual subculture called bears, using participant observation, interviews and textual analysis through the tenets of grounded theory. The word "bear" is an umbrella term that can describe physical traits to refer to attitudes that are shared by this group. The formation of the bear identity has provided an alternative to what many agree is the hegemonic gay male identity in the United States. Individual bears may see it as a community, a subculture, or a social movement. I compare two social clubs for bears and analyze how they created supportive alternative sexual spaces for anyone who was interested. Through participant observation, semi-structured interviews, and textual analysis I explore issues of identity, gender, appearance, and sexual aesthetics.

Format:
Text
Collection(s):
UCSB electronic theses and dissertations
ARK:
ark:/13030/m5qn67ff
Merritt ARK:
ark:/13030/m5qn67ff
Rights:
Inc.icon only.dark In Copyright
Access: This item is restricted to on-campus access only. Please check our FAQs or contact UCSB Library staff if you need additional assistance.