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ChatChat - Claudia Cragg

Jun 24, 2018

KGNU's (@KGNU) Claudia Cragg (@KGNUClaudia) speaks here with Cory Albertson (@wcoryalbertsonis an interdisciplinary scholar whose research spans media cultures, gender and sexuality studies and social justice movements.

His new book, A Perfect Union? Television and the Winning of Same-Sex Marriage (Routledge, 2018), examines network television’s representations of LGBQ relationships and their impact in shifting public attitudes in favor of same-sex marriage.

On June 26, 2015, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy declared same-sex marriage "is so ordered" across the United States. The day will no doubt be remembered as a landmark shift in how U.S. society views and validates marriage and romantic relationships. But the shift would not have happened without an arguably more important, but already forgotten, shift four years earlier that saw unprecedented movement in public attitudes alongside record amounts of television representation of LGBQ relationships.

Situated at this intersection of legislative, attitudinal and representational change, A Perfect Union? presents analyses of popular programmes such as Modern FamilyGrey’s AnatomyThe Good WifeGleeDesperate Housewivesand House in order to tackle crucial ethical questions regarding the impact of heterosexual knowledges on the rendering of same-sex relationships as relatable and "respectable" – portraits of heteronormativity that reproduce the masculine/feminine binary, monogamous coupledom and the raising of children. Focusing on the connection between heteronormativity and government legitimacy, Cory Albertson deftly examines television’s privileging of certain forms of relationships over others, shedding light on the reproduction of everyday power relations within LGBQ relationships that hinge on issues of race, sexuality, class and gender. An engaging study of media constructions of same-sex relationships and the shaping of public expectations and attitudes, A Perfect Union? is a must-read for scholars of sociology, media and cultural studies and popular culture with interests in gender, sexuality and the family.

Other works include Contexts [2014 and 2016], Feminist Approaches to Media Theory and Research [forthcoming, 2018], and Youth and Sexualities: Public Feelings and Contemporary Cultural Politics [forthcoming, 2018]).

He engages with such subjects beyond academia to mainstream outlets as well. His work as a public scholar, essayist, and journalist has appeared in publications such as The Huffington PostInterviewOutPasteand The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Albertson is the recipient of the 2014 Jacqueline Boles Excellence in Teaching Fellowship as well as the 2014 Georgia State University Certificate for Excellence in College Teaching.