Freaks Talk Back by Joshua Gamson

664 WordsFeb 21, 20183 Pages
Reality style talk shows like Jerry Springer were gaining momentum and popularity during the mid 1990’s. In Joshua Gamson’s “Freaks Talk Back” he uses extensive research, interviews and transcripts along with his own observations as an audience member, and discusses an involved process that explains how LGBT guests become stars of tabloid television. Gamson’s main argument is that the genre of tabloid talk shows focuses a lot on the sexual orientation of the guests, which provided a lot of much needed media attention for the LGBT community. These shows portrayed the guests as “jokes or sickos.” Even though these guests were exploited for profits, Gamson credits this genre of talk shows for making the LGBT people mainstream and more socially acceptable than any other time during the 20th century. Gamson says that “Very few people are willing to embrace the monster or freak label, even in order to humanize it, since doing so is to put oneself largely outside of social recognition.” (Gamson pg. 168) In Foucault’s article, “Sexual Discourse and Power,” Foucault argues that we have looked at the history of sexuality since the 18th century in what Foucault calls the "repressive hypothesis." The repressive hypothesis suggests that since the emergence of the bourgeoisie, any energy placed on something purely pleasurable instead of work, has been frowned upon. Because of this, sex has been treated as a private affair that should only be taking

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