Thursday, May 25, 2017

URSP Student Clare Yordy Researches How Bisexuality is Portrayed in Film and Television

My name is Clare Yordy, and I am a freshman studying Government and International Politics. I am conducting research on how bisexuality is portrayed in film and television, which I began working on in my Honors 110 class last semester. I’ve always had a passion to learn more about sexuality and gender, so I thought it would be interesting to look into a sexuality that gets very little positive attention: bisexuality. Because bisexuality rarely appears in any form of mass media, I wanted to find out how it’s represented and how it affects society as a whole. After completing the class, I realized how much work there was to do on this topic, and was inspired to pursue it further. Eventually, I came to realize that I will also want to research how portrayals of bisexuality affect bisexual individuals and societal views of bisexuality. However, for the sake of time this semester, I am only focusing on mediated portrayals of bisexuality.

On a weekly basis I watch movies and television from 2000 to the present that contain bisexual characters. I have a running list of shows and movies to watch and take careful notes on what the characters are saying, what other characters are saying abo
ut them, and their actions. I then take these notes and try to find common themes and patterns among these characters. These notes will be used to perform a rhetorical analysis on my chosen characters.

This semester I’ve discovered how much there is to learn about bisexuality, particularly in mass media. Although I was concerned about the lack of evidence on this topic, conducting this research has shown me that there are definite patterns among bisexual characters and that most representations of bisexuality in mass media are extremely negative. Additionally, exploring bisexual characters in film and television has given me insight on societal views of bisexuality, how sexuality as a whole is constructed in mass media, and how heteronormativity is consistently upheld in mass media.