Queer Commodities: Contemporary US Fiction, Consumer Capitalism, and Gay and Lesbian Subcultures



Publication Details

Davidson, G. R. (2012). 'Queer Commodities: Contemporary US Fiction, Consumer Capitalism, and Gay and Lesbian Subcultures', New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Additional Publication Information

Queer Commodities is the first book-length analysis of same-sexuality and consumer capitalism in contemporary US fiction. Moving beyond the critical tendencies to identify gay and lesbian subcultures as either hopelessly immersed in consumer capitalism or heroically resistant to it, Guy Davidson argues that while these subcultures are necessarily commodified, they also provide means of subversively negotiating aspects of life under capitalism


This book investigates the connections and tensions between gay and lesbian sexualities and consumer culture in novels by five contemporary American writers: Edmund White, Samuel Delany, Jane DeLynn, Michelle Tea, and Lynn Breedlove. The relationship of gays and lesbians to consumer capitalism has been one of the most vigorously debated issues in queer communities in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. The 1990s saw the consolidation of the gay and lesbian niche market, with numerous corporations actively targeting queer consumers, as well as queer entrepreneurs devising and selling signifiers of gay and lesbian identity. While many gays and lesbians welcome such recognitions, and while so-called mainstream gay and lesbian community forums, such as online and print media, tend to celebrate the commodification of same-sexuality (and, of course, to exemplify it), these developments have been a source of urgent concern for many scholars and activists, who argue that the commercialization of gay and lesbian life is a betrayal of, or a diversion from, the political project of sexual liberation.

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