Gay class tourism
New research at the University of Leicester is investigating a growing fascination with 'chav' culture among middle-class gay men in Britain.
Professor Joanna Brewis, from the University of Leicester School of Management, UK, will conduct primary empirical research into gay class tourism following publication of findings reported last year in the journal Sociology.
Research she carried out with her former colleague Professor Gavin Jack, now at La Trobe University in Australia, revealed the complex consumer patterns of middle-class homosexual men who go 'slumming' at chav nights in clubs, typically dressed in tracksuits, baseball caps and flaunting showy diamond and gold bling.
Professors Brewis's and Jack's findings overturn the traditional stereotypes of gay men as cultured, bourgeois consumers, suggesting instead an interest in the lower-class values of 'chavs' encapsulated in certain types of pornographic material, sex lines and night clubs.
Professor Brewis commented: "Our research opens up some interesting questions, including whether the fascination with chavs opens up the gay space for working class homosexual men, or just reinforces the view of the 'unselective male libido'."
Professor Joanna Brewis has been a member of the University of Leicester School of Management since 2004. Her research interests are in the intersections between the body, identity, sexuality, consumption, culture and processes of organizing. As well as the project described above, other recent research work includes exploring intimacy, motherhood and life-work 'balance'; and discourses of Same and Other around culture and professionalism in Aotearoa New Zealand social work.
Professor Gavin Jack joined the La Trobe Graduate School of Management in 2009. His research interests include international management issues, consumption and postcolonial organizational analysis.