Queering Teen Culture: All-American Boys and Same-sex Desire in Film and Television
Why did Fonzie hang around with all those high school boys?
Is the overwhelming boy-meets-girl content of popular teen movies, music, books, and TV just a cover for an undercurrent of same-sex desire? From the 1950s to the present, popular culture has involved teenage boys falling for, longing over, dreaming about, singing to, and fighting over, teenage girls. But Queering Teen Culture analyzes more than 200 movies and TV shows to uncover who Frankie Avalon's character was really in love with in those beach movies and why Leif Garrett became a teen idol in the 1970s.
In Top 40 songs, teen magazines, movies, TV soap operas and sitcoms, teenagers are defined by their pubescent “discovery” of the opposite sex, universally and without exception. Queering Teen Culture looks beyond the litany to find out when adults became so insistent about teenage sexual desire—and why—and finds evidence of same-sex desire, romantic interactions, and identities that, according to the dominant ideology, do not and cannot exist. This provocative book examines the careers of male performers whose teenage roles made them famous (including Ricky Nelson, Pat Boone, Fabian, and James Darren) and discusses examples of lesbian desire (including I Love Lucy and Laverne and Shirley).
Queering Teen Culture examines:
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Devil on Wheels The Rise of Teen Culture
The Heterosexual Teenager
Father Knows Best Learning GirlCraziness on TV
The CleanCut Boys
American Graffiti 1950s Nostalgia and Teenage Androgyny
The 1950s Craze
The Gays 1950s
Real Men and PsychoSlashers
Sal Mineo and Friends The Juvenile Delinquent Films
Juvenile Delinquency Heats Up
Teenage Zombies from Outer Space Monster Movies
The Monster Mash
The End of the Monster Mash
Heartbreak Hotel The Teen Idols
Teenage Boys in Love
Teen Idols on Screen
How to Stuff a Wild Bikini The Beach Movies
Beach Movie Regulars
The Last of the Beach Movies
Easy Rider The Love Generation
The Brat Pack Teen Nerds and Operators
Teencoms and Teensoaps
The Real World
The Incredible Shrinking Teenager
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actor adolescence adults Annette antigay audience beach movies Beaver best buddy biker-hippie Billy Bobby boy-girl boyfriend Brat Packers brother buddy bonding character dance Darren David Dennis Dobie Dwayne Hickman Elvis episode erosexual erotic Fabian Film Frankie Avalon Frankie Darro gang Gidget girl-craziness girlfriend Haworth Press hetero heteronormative heterosexual heterosexual desire heterosexual destiny heterosexual interest heterosexual practice high school homoerotic homosexuality horror interest in girls Jack James Darren Jimmy jock Johnny juvenile delinquent kids kiss Leif Garrett lesbian look male masculine McCarthy Michael Mickey Moondoggie never night nuclear family ogling Ozzie percent played queer Ricky Nelson romance Sal Mineo same-sex desire scene Scott Baio season sexual shirtless sitcom star Steve swimsuit teen culture teen idol teen magazines teen nerd teenage boys teencom teensoap television Tommy Kirk undeniably straight Wally wants Werewolf William Asher York young
Page ix - Hence in every society various techniques are developed intended to fix the floating chain of signifieds in such a way as to counter the terror of uncertain signs; the linguistic message is one of these techniques.
Page x - Indeed, one might argue that such films are functional in providing a ritualistic release for a heterosexual economy that must constantly police its own boundaries against the invasion of queerness, and that this displaced production and resolution of homosexual panic actually fortifies the heterosexual regime in its self-perpetuating task.