Date of Award

Spring 5-13-2013

Degree Type

Capstone Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Studies (BA)


Cultural Studies

First Advisor

Ann Gunkel

Second Advisor

Jaafar Aksikas


This project argues that American daytime soap operas, since the1970s, have adopted prevailing discursive ideas of queerness, re-articulated them, and introduced new discursive understandings of queerness into popular culture. Most often, these re-articulated representations reflect a heteronormalized model,owing to myriad historically-situated discourses related to human sexuality (e.g.,mental health, AIDS, and gender identity). This point is made through a broad examination of these shifting discourses, coupled with a direct analysis of salient queer characters and storylines that appeared concurrently within daytime serials. Building on Feminist and Media theory, this project includes Queer theory to frame a comprehensive historical-discursive understanding of queerness in soap operas.