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Bowie - The Trans Who Fell to Earth: Cultural Regulation, Bowie and Gender Fluidity.

Bradley, P. and Page, J., 2017. Bowie - The Trans Who Fell to Earth: Cultural Regulation, Bowie and Gender Fluidity. Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, 31 (4), 583-595.

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Bowie Article - Peri Bradley and James Page - final draft 2017.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.


DOI: 10.1080/10304312.2017.1334389


This article seeks to address and interrogate cultural regulation in the context of the complex gender identity of the late, great David Bowie as a figure who has persistently and obstinately operated outside societal norms. In the 70s, his emergence into British popular culture at such a specifically revolutionary moment in time, locates him within the circuit of culture in a unique way, where his very being is nuanced by the processes of representation, identity, production, consumption and regulation (Du Gay & Hall,1997). Through examination of his diverse personae over the course of his career and by placing these in their cultural and socio-political contexts, it is possible to understand the cultural forces being brought to bear upon his identity; as an artist; as a musician; as a performer and as a gender-bender. The concept of regulation as part of the circuit of culture is particularly pertinent in order to comprehend how our individual identity and performance are constantly under bombardment by the agents of capitalism and consumption, demanding we incessantly and restlessly change so as to consume, but in the 'correct' way. For Bowie this persistent reinvention was also a form of self-regulation, that he imposed on himself, to ensure he was always one step ahead of the regulatory forces of hegemony; the very act of change a significant feat of resistance against authority. By viewing Bowie through this lens it is the intention to not only demonstrate his significance as a central figure that influenced the notion of gender as fluid rather than fixed, but also to understand how the system of cultural regulation operates to question, contain and ultimately assimilate all transgression, so as to reassert order and stability.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:David Bowie, Cultural Regulation, Gender, Masculinity, Postmodernism, Commodification.
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:29561
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:02 Aug 2017 11:19
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:06


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