18315Slayter Box: 8315COMM 349Dr. KirkpatrickFinal ExamQuestion 2:The process of normalization intersects with the government’s support of economic expansion and capitalism. The state disciplines individuals in order to normalize them for the state’s benefit. Capitalism encourages individuals to buy into consumerism in order to conform to the state’s desires for normalization. Robert McRuer explains that certain kinds of abnormality can be assimilated in ways that enforce capitalism and the dominant hegemonies about what is normal. The television show Queer Eye for the Straight Guynot only reinforces the dominant ideology of the gay/straight binary, but also encourages the consumption of material goods in order to fit into the norm (McRuer 174). This assimilation to hegemony “elicits consent to the dominant economic and political ideologies of a particular historical order” (McRuer 192). On the other hand, McRuer explains how Bob Flanagan represents a type of abnormality that cannot be assimilated. Due to his impending premature death Flanagan has no desire to fit in, expressing an attitude of complete disregard for norms. As McRuer states, Flanagan is special not because he attempted to help straight men be more fashionable so “conspicuous consumption and heteronormativity could continue apace” but rather “imagined crip existence as atypical and reached for something beyond the current order” (McRuer 194). Flanagan reveals the boundaries of capitalist ideology by refusing to assimilate to the dominate hegemonies. Similar to McRuer, Michael Warner encourages this kind of transgression and rejection of capitalist and hegemonic ideologies. Warner discusses the economic privileges that accompany marriage, encouraging couples to maintain monogamous relationships. Warner argues that gay marriage, while benefiting gay couples, would only reinforce the oppressive nature of marriage. Individuals who remain single would still be deprived of the rights and benefits associated with state-desired marriage (Warner 108). Likewise, Gayle Rubin’s hierarchy circle demonstrates how sexualities on the inside of the circle are given economic, social and other privileges over the sexualities on the outside (Rubin 151). When individuals conform and assimilate to hegemonies, they are rewarded, but those who do not are ostracized and oppressed. Rubin, like Warner and McRuer, proposes a radical approach that eliminates economic and social privileging altogether. The failure of abnormality to assimilate, like Flanagan, disrupts the flow of capitalism. Carolyn Anderson explains that regulations to ensure an enhanced sight line for wheelchair seating locations at arenas and stadiums is costly. In order to allow maneuverability to wheelchair bound individuals, at least two rows of regular seating must be removed, which can potentially cost the arena eight hundred dollars (Anderson 249). Normalization and systems of economic production are inextricably linked.
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