It gets better?: gay teen bullying and suicide
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] This dissertation explores the social construction of gay bullying and suicide as a social problem. Specifically, I analyze the It Gets Better Project and its conceptions of the causes of and solutions to gay bullying. The Project individualizes bullying and suicide as a social problem. Contributors focus on individual behaviors that cause bullying and those that can alleviate bullying. They neglect structural concerns related to bullying. Contributors utilize essentialism to create rigid notions concerning authentic membership in a variety of categories. Finally, contributors seek to normalize sexual minorities and assimilate into heteronormative institutions rather than interrogating the exclusionary practices of those institutions. Overall, The Project is described as a revolutionary approach for reaching out to gay youths, but it unfortunately reproduces a variety of problematic discourses in the process.
Access is limited to the campus of the University of Missouri--Columbia.