Queering Masculine Peer Culture: Softening Gender Performances on the University Dance Floor

Grant Tyler Peterson, Eric Anderson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In this chapter, we take a different perspective on queer masculinities. Rather than examining the masculinities of gay men or queer-identifying individuals, we instead examine the masculinities of heterosexual men in a university setting. We highlight the multiple influences that shape perceptions of gender and sexuality—influences that are also used to subvert a polarized gender and sexuality order. This is evidenced by how straight men dance, interact, and even kiss each other. Accordingly, we ask what it means when queer masculinities are performed by otherwise straight-identifying men. What implications does the “homosexualization” of heterosexuals or the queering of straights have on understandings of gender and sexuality? We argue that, whether the context is a sporting event or a dance hall, social terrains rely on a body of assumed knowledge that helps con-struct the social meanings inculcated in and performed by moving bodies. Accordingly, in this chapter, we suggest that what used to be subversive signs of a polarized gender and sexuality order are increasingly found in the domain of popular and normative heterosexual culture. These social changes require a change in our theoretical formulations of masculinity.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationQueer Masculinities
Subtitle of host publicationA Critical Reader in Education
EditorsJohn Landreau, Nelson Rodriguez
Place of PublicationNew York
ISBN (Print)978-94-007-2551-5
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Publication series

NameExplorations in Educational Purpose

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