Graduation Year

2021

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department

History

Major Professor

Darcie S. Fontaine, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Brian Connolly, Ph.D.

Committee Member

David K. Johnson, Ph.D.

Keywords

queer, France, gentrification, LGBTQ, LGBTQ history, Queer history

Abstract

In the 1980s the Marais neighborhood in Paris, France, became a haven for queer people, specifically gay, white men, filled with queer-owned and queer-centric businesses. By the year 2020, however, these businesses had been priced out by name-brand international corporations. In the 1990s, French television commercials and programs would not speak the word ‘homosexual,’ even when a character was openly queer. By the 2010s, companies regularly featured queer people and gay pride imagery and slogans in their advertising. The queer community in Paris has a unique relationship with the consumer economy, one that ties aspects of queer identity directly to consumption and leisure. The result of this relationship has been increased visibility of queer people in media, but less business directly owned or controlled by queer people themselves. Conversely, this has resulted in a fracturing of the community along class lines – those who have purchasing power and those who do not. In this thesis, I explore how this relationship came to be and the impact it has had on the queer community, focusing on the Marais neighborhood’s demographic shifts and the changes in queer representation in commercial advertising.

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