Research team

Media, policy and culture

Expertise

Research and advice on media culture, particularly concerning minorities (ethno-cultural, sexual, disabled people, ...) and diversity.

Meat, Men & Masculinities: how social media and interpersonal communication processes shape the connections between masculine identities and meat consumption. 01/01/2021 - 31/12/2024

Abstract

Although an over-consumption of meat relates to health- and sustainability problems, many people, men in particular, eat more meat than recommended. An underlying cause of men's over-consumption of meat may be the widespread belief that "real men eat meat". This belief fits hegemonic, patriarchal views on masculinity, but does not fit newer, more inclusive forms of masculinity. Newer forms of masculinity are gaining momentum, and at the same time also meatless diets seem to be on the rise. The general scope of this project is to study potential connections between (not) eating meat and beliefs about masculinity. In concrete terms, we will study: (1) how social media portray meat, men and masculinities; (2) investigate if and how men's decision to (not) eat meat relates to interpersonal processes of othering and polarization; and (3) study how meat, men and masculinities intersect on the cultural, interpersonal, and individual level of food choice behavior. Quantitative and qualitative content analyses will be used to study (1) Instagram and Twitter content about meat and masculinities. Experiments with self-report and psycho-physiological measures will be used to study: (2) interpersonal processes of distancing, othering and tension-relief, and (3) the effect of social media content and interpersonal interactions on men's choice to eat or not to eat meat. The outcomes may offer timely and necessary solutions to assist avid male meat eaters to reduce their meat intake.

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Research team(s)

Mediated homonationalism: Media discourses on homosexuality and the nation in Flanders. 01/10/2020 - 30/09/2024

Abstract

Lesbian and gay rights are increasingly included in the self-presentation of Western nations. Critics label this as 'homonationalism', pointing out how inclusion in the national ingroup comes at the price of normativity and the exclusion of (presumably) homophobic 'others', mostly originating or situated in the East or South. This project aims to contribute to existing scholarship by systematically analyzing homonationalist discourses and counter-discourses, focusing on Flanders as a specific (sub)national context, and exploring the role of media in circulating such discourses. The main research question is: To what degree and how do homonationalist discourses and counter-discourses ¬circulate in Flemish media? Sub-questions and related work packages focus on (1) the prevalence of homonationalist discourses in Flemish newspapers and news sites, (2) the characteristics of these discourses, and (3) the way such discourses circulate across legacy media (in particular newspapers), owned media (e.g. political party publications) and social media (Facebook and Twitter). Focusing on the contemporary Flemish situation, we use a mixed-method design combining quantitative content analysis with critical discourse analysis. As to data, we move from a one-year sample of all reporting on homosexuality (1), through a more focused sample of homonationalist discourses during that same year (2), to a few 'discursive moments' for which we complement legacy media with owned and social media.

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Research team(s)

Reshaping Masculinities: Dress, Body and Identity in the Antwerp Fashion Scene. 01/11/2019 - 31/10/2023

Abstract

This research project is the first ever to directly address the relationship between fashion, body and gender identity in the well-known Antwerp fashion scene. Specifically, it will focus on the creative practices of four designers from different generations (Raf Simons, Ann Demeulemeester, Bernhard Willhelm and Glenn Martens) and investigate how they all contributed to reshaping the idea of male aesthetics through a critical approach to menswear. The research is innovative for its multidisciplinary approach at the intersection of fashion studies, men's studies and queer studies. It will combine theories on the construction of masculinity with insights into the role of fashion in creating and questioning embodied gender norms. Methodologically, it will primarily draw on the analysis of visual and audio-visual materials (i.e. fashion show videos and images, catalogues, look books, magazine editorials, etc.) provided by the MoMu fashion museum and other archives, combined with interviews with the designers and relevant personalities from the Antwerp fashion scene. Because of its multidisciplinary character, this project will contribute to several fields: it will strengthen the existing literature on Belgian fashion by providing new insights from a masculinity perspective, put Belgium on the fashion studies map, and add a totally new angle to men's and queer studies in Belgian academia.

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Research team(s)

Cultural Values in International Jazz Competitions. 01/10/2019 - 30/09/2022

Abstract

This project aims to enrich our knowledge of the cultural value and artistic meaning surrounding jazz by investigating how international jazz competitions can be used to (re)produce, articulate, and negotiate certain values and beliefs about the music, such as collectivity, exceptionalism, and tradition. This will be done through a multi-layered comparative analysis of two of the most prestigious and longest running international jazz competitions, the B-Jazz International Contest (1979, Belgium) and the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition (1987, US). The research's interdisciplinary approach is designed to engage multiple perspectives (WP1: historical, WP2: demographic), levels (WP3: written, visual, aural), and actors (WP4: directors, jury, and contenders). As research on jazz contests is virtually non-existent, this project will extend and expand our understanding of the meaning and significance of jazz practices by gathering historical and demographic data about music competitions and offering innovative interpretations of the cultural values on which they are based. As such, it aligns with recent scholarly concerns with cultural dynamics and meaning-making, and its results will be of particular interest to music scholars, professionals from the cultural and creative industries, and conservatoire educators and students.

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Research team(s)

FWO Sabbatical 2020-2021 (Prof. A. Dhoest). 01/10/2020 - 30/09/2021

Abstract

This project aims to investigate the role of media in relation to sexual and gender identifications among different generations of queer people. The term queer is used in this context as an umbrella term for people who do not identify as straight. While the media representation of queer people has been extensively researched, the way they use media in processes of identity building remains underexplored. Moreover, although an emerging literature focuses on the use of online media by younger queers, the media uses of older queers are hardly researched. Nevertheless, they grew up in a different era in terms of social acceptance as well as media representation. By comparing media 'generations', i.e. people who grew up with different media repertoires, it is possible to more exactly pinpoint the importance of media in processes of sexual and gender identity formation. This issue is all the more pressing, as processes of collective identity formation seem to be shifting, away from more fixed categories like gay/straight and towards more fluid categories. To investigate these issues, this project will use in-depth interviews with 40 queer people, evenly divided over two generations: the so-called 'generation X', born between 1960 and 1980, and 'Millennials', born between 1981 and 2000. Drawing on a preliminary online survey, a diverse range of participants will be selected in terms of gender identifications, ethnicity etc. The interviews will span the participant's entire lives, aiming to pinpoint which media were available at what time in their lives, and how this related to their process of identity formation.

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Research team(s)

BOF Sabbatical 2020-2021 - Alexander Dhoest. 01/10/2020 - 30/09/2021

Abstract

This project aims to investigate the role of media in relation to sexual and gender identifications among different generations of queer people. The term queer is used in this context as an umbrella term for people who do not identify as straight. While the media representation of queer people has been extensively researched, the way they use media in processes of identity building remains underexplored. Moreover, although an emerging literature focuses on the use of online media by younger queers, the media uses of older queers are hardly researched. Nevertheless, they grew up in a different era in terms of social acceptance as well as media representation. By comparing media 'generations', i.e. people who grew up with different media repertoires, it is possible to more exactly pinpoint the importance of media in processes of sexual and gender identity formation. This issue is all the more pressing, as processes of collective identity formation seem to be shifting, away from more fixed categories like gay/straight and towards more fluid categories. To investigate these issues, this project will use in-depth interviews with 40 queer people, evenly divided over two generations: the so-called 'generation X', born between 1960 and 1980, and 'Millennials', born between 1981 and 2000. Drawing on a preliminary online survey, a diverse range of participants will be selected in terms of gender identifications, ethnicity etc. The interviews will span the participant's entire lives, aiming to pinpoint which media were available at what time in their lives, and how this related to their process of identity formation.

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Research team(s)

A Pan-Arab Cliffhanger: The Case of Transnational Arabic TV Series. 15/07/2020 - 14/07/2021

Abstract

Amongst the key trends in Arab television drama productions is the rise of the so-called 'pan-Arab dramas', serialized television fictions in which an ensemble of characters from various Arab nationalities is presented in transnational settings. While the outbreak of the 'Arab Spring' and the consequent emigration of Arab talents to new centers of production has played a role in this emergence, pan-Arab dramas may have also been a reaction to the Arab television industry's need to catch up with the ongoing boom of 'glocal' production and distribution approaches. As television narratives have been often considered catalysts for national and transnational imagination, pan-Arab dramas potentially influence the imagination of the Arab World's cultural identity. Through a qualitative content analysis of selected pan-Arab dramas and interviews with their makers, this research aims at understanding the texts of these dramas within the discourses of nationalism and cultural identity. Additionally, the research will explore the context of these dramas' screenplay development as a tool of cultural production with the potential ability to redraw the imagination of the Arab world's cultural identity.

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Research into the experiences of LGB's at the intersection of ethnicity and sexual identity. 01/07/2019 - 31/12/2020

Abstract

This research is based on the limited acceptance of LGB sexuality in certain groups of foreign origin, as recently observed in the survey Living Together in Diversity. Behind these numbers, however, there is a complex reality, so we should be cautious not to generalize too quickly to entire countries of origin. Moreover, this research shows what acceptance correlates with, but not why. For this kind of explanations, which can also lead to remedies, we need more in-depth qualitative research. The purpose of this research is to contribute to the acceptance of LGB sexuality in certain groups of foreign origin, the Moroccan, Turkish and Congolese communities in Flanders. In a first stage, an elaborate literature research is done. In a second stage, in-depth interviews with LGBs from these three groups are used to explore which problems they experience but also which solutions they see. In a third stage, these insights are brought together in a list of recommendations and good practices.

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Creation of a science popularization website about gender and human dignity in advertising and communication (phase I Zorrola expertise center) 03/06/2019 - 31/12/2019

Abstract

PHASE I - Information point (*) of the creation of ZORROLA, Expertise Center for Gender and Human Dignity in Advertising & Communication consisting of providing online information based on scientific research - to combat sexist, gender-unfriendly and inhumane advertising and communication with an eye to the various intersections, such as in addition to the gender identity and expression intersections, the intersections with sexual orientation, age, validity (disability), ethnic-cultural and religious diversity - to raise awareness / support and to promote radical advertising literacy of o the general public, civil society organizations and educational actors o the business world and their marketing and advertising professionals

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Evaluation of Flemish sign language on VRT 23/05/2019 - 31/12/2019

Abstract

This project aims to evaluate the offer of Flemish Sign Language by publice service broadcaster VRT, and to make recommendations for future Flemish media policy. The project combines in-depth interviews with programme analysis to propose a new format.

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Cultural Ideology in International Jazz Competitions. 01/10/2018 - 30/09/2019

Abstract

This research aims to enrich our knowledge of cultural ideology and mediation within jazz by investigating how a core set of beliefs about the music, including collectivity, American exceptionalism and cultural ownership, are (re)produced within two of the oldest ongoing international jazz competitions, the B-Jazz International Contest (1979, Belgium) and the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition (1987, U.S.). I will combine insights and methods from cultural musicology, sociology, and history into an interdisciplinary approach that is designed to engage multiple perspectives (historical, demographic), levels (written, visual, aural), and actors (directors, jury, and contenders). The multifaceted impact will target both broad and focused audiences through a dissemination plan that includes academic articles and presentations, public discussions with non-academic stakeholders and public, and a symposium comprising a keynote, research panels, and a roundtable with CCI professionals. As research on jazz contests is virtually non-existent, this project will extend and expand our understanding of the meaning of jazz practices by providing relevant data about music contests and offering innovative interpretations of the cultural politics that surround them. As such, this aligns with recent scholarly concerns with cultural conflict and identity, and its results will be of particular interest to music scholars, CCI professionals, and conservatoire educators and students.

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"For Horses, Not Artists": Artistic–educational Vision, Value, and Standards of the B-Jazz International Contest, 1979–2019. 01/01/2018 - 31/12/2019

Abstract

This project aims to study the artistic and educational vision, value, and standards of the B-Jazz International Contest, an international jazz competition held in Belgium since 1979. In that year, the Belgian jazz aficionado Albert Michiels (1923–2008) established the first edition of what was to become an annual international jazz contest, picking up a tradition that began in Belgium as early as 1932. Today, B-Jazz is one of the longest-standing and most prestigious jazz competitions worldwide, annually attracting over a hundred jazz bands competing for a place among the final six. With this long a history and widespread presence these contests seem more prevalent than ever. Yet, for all their importance, there is relatively little research undertaken on the origins, the various meanings as well as the impact such tournaments had and continue to have on the jazz milieu. Using B-Jazz as a case study, this project will focus on this contest's historical and contemporary artistic-educational aspects, and reveal its importance in establishing an early career as a music professional.

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Queering Masculinities: The Antwerp Fashion Scene (1985-2015). 01/10/2017 - 30/09/2021

Abstract

This study explores the role that Belgian men's fashion played in the redefinition of masculinities from the mid 1980s to the present. More precisely, it examines how the creative practices of a cohort of designers of the world-famous 'Antwerp fashion scene' have made an impact, not just in the fashion scene, but also in society at large, for presenting alternative 'queer' versions of masculinity. By tackling queer identity formation through the process of body-fashioning in the work of Belgian fashion designers, we set out to address two key research questions: 1. How did Belgian fashion designers manage to dismantle pre-existing paradigms of masculinity as well as mold new subversive ones? 2. How was their work of redefining masculinities through fashion related to, and informed by, the visual culture in which they were operating? The time span under consideration encompasses the socio-historical period of the AIDS epidemic up until present time. The choice of this particular context is not haphazard: it was during the 1980s and 1990s that, as a consequence of the epidemic, fashion became quintessential in the shaping of new male corporealities, e.g., hyper-masculinity or androgyny, that would become paradigmatic in the 2000s. Moreover, this is the time frame in which queer theory, namely, a set of theories aimed at denaturalizing heteronormative understandings of gender, sex, and sexuality, emerged in academia, and 'New Queer Cinema' developed, carving out new radical configurations of queerness opposing the clichéd representations of sexuality in mainstream film. Despite the vast existing research on the arts and literature of this period, there is still a huge gap in academic scholarship on the topic of fashion in this historical framework. By filling such an epistemological gap, this project also seeks to dismantle the deep-seated association of fashion with merely frivolous concerns. We believe that fashion represents an important barometer of social change, both reflecting and affecting cultural development, and that, due to its constitutive link with the body, it is meaningful in defining and negotiating our being in the world and our being with others. To shed light on the redefinition of masculinity by the Antwerp fashion scene from the mid 1980s until 2015, this project will examine the work of a group of internationally established menswear designers, all of whom either trained or worked in Belgium, particularly in Antwerp, and gained success worldwide. In order to do this, we will analyze their collections: both the garments and their visual representation in 'lookbooks', clips of catwalk shows, advertising campaigns and fashion editorials. To contextualize these images, we will draw on visual analysis of intertextual references, in particular to film and photography, as well as interviews with the designers. Such analyses will be developed in three stages: archival research; visual analysis; and interviews. This research is constitutively interdisciplinary, insofar as it is situated at the intersection of three main academic disciplines: fashion studies, queer studies, and masculinity studies. This project being one of the first instances of fashion studies in Belgium, it will help put the country on the map of fashion studies by breaking the intellectual disregard for fashion research outside of the Anglo-American context; it will contribute to the development of queer studies in Belgian academia, where queer theory has only slowly penetrated without having yet achieved institutionalization; and it will enrich, through a cross-disciplinary approach, current debates on both fashion as a form of culture and on masculinity as a set of social norms.

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Research team(s)

The quest for identity: Autism communities on social media in Brazil 15/07/2017 - 14/07/2018

Abstract

Contemporary society is marked by the ideology of ableism, which devalues disabled people on the basis that they are less than humans and should be cured or ameliorated (Campbell, 2009). However, disabled people and scholars are challenging this view by creating a social perspective on disability, distinguishing between impairment as a physical, sensory or cognitive functional limitation; and disability, a consequence of disabling physical and social barriers (Goodley, 2011). Autism is also seen through these perspectives, the medical ableist and the social. As an ideology, ableism is defined as an "attitude that devalues or differentiates disability through the valuation of able-bodiedness equated to normalcy", treating disability as an inherently negative condition that "should be ameliorated, cured or indeed eliminated" (Campbell, 2009, p.5). Meanwhile, in the case of autism the social perspective presents the neurodiversity movement, embracing autistic neurological difference and understanding it as formed by challenges and strengths (Armstrong, 2011). Since ableism is still a pervasive ideology, the formation of a positive identity is essential to promote neurodiversity. One of the places where disabled people can perform identity is on the Internet. By affording the creation of a public sphere in which "collective opinions can be formed and voiced" (Song, 2009, p.4), the online medium allows not only personal expressions, but also the formation of communities where disabled identities can be performed. The identities present online may be uneven, as different values coexist in society; however, the Internet does open space for people to contest and deconstruct the idea of ableism. Such acts are seen "as crucial to the future of minority people and their quest for social justice and inclusion" (Siebers, 2013, p.284). Based on these insights, the current project seeks to explore how perceptions of autism are transposed to and changed by social media in Brazilian society, which lacks investigation in the proposed topics. This investigation is guided by two research questions: 1. How do autistics and their supporters use social media to create an autistic cyberculture, focusing on individual and collective identities? 2. What are the consequences of this usage for autistic people? To answer these questions, we analyze cyberculture, that is: how people use digital media to create representations and narratives, and how this affects their lives, including aspects such as forms, practices, politics and, a key focus in this project, identities (Bell, 2006). We analyze this culture using digital ethnography, which offers both the methodological tools, combining elicitation methods with online participant observation (Boelstorff, 2013), to investigate the online culture of autism; and a way to effectively include the communities studied into the research, presenting them as subjects of their own histories. By the end of this project, we expect to comprehend how autistics and their supporters are creating an online culture of autism in Brazil, mainly in terms of identity, and what are the consequences of the social media usage for those people.

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Research on representation. 01/01/2017 - 31/12/2020

Abstract

Qualitative research into the representation of minorities, ordered by public service broadcaster VRT. Each year a specific group is studied, using a selection of clips to check how the VRT fulfils its obligation to adequately represent social diversity.

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Turkish Police Procedural TV Series: Genre, Globalization and National Identity. 01/04/2016 - 31/07/2016

Abstract

This research project concentrates on Turkish police procedural TV series. It is argued that, stuck between the 'Western-ness' of the police procedural genre and the national reflexes, tendencies, anxieties and tastes both in the textual and industrial dimensions of a non-Western country, Turkish police procedural TV series have been formed by the tendency to appropriate 'Western' police procedurals while simultaneously preserving 'Turkish' values. Inspired by this dialogic and discursive process, the research concentrates on five Turkish police procedural TV series: Arka Sokaklar (Backstreets, 2008-), a combination of the 'local' generic forms and the police procedural format; Kanıt (The Evidence, 2010-2013), a forensic TV series which can be considered as the Turkish appropriation of the CSI franchise; Behzat Ç. (Behzat Ç., 2010-2013) which is considered as a highly provocative TV series because of its critical narration of the contemporary political issues; Cinayet (The Murder, 2014), a short lived format adaptation of the popular Danish crime series, Forbrydelsen (2007-2012); and a historical police procedural TV series, Filinta (Flintlock, 2014-) which revolves around the adventures of an Ottoman police commissar. By primarily focusing on the intertwined dynamics between global media flows and the growing Turkish national television industry, and aware of the ambivalence embedded in the past and the present of Turkish national identity and the articulation of the West in this construction, it is examined how the police procedural genre is adapted to the Turkish context while creating TV series for the 'national' audiences.

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E-identity: Social media and identity from the perspective of diasporic LGBTQs. 01/10/2015 - 31/08/2018

Abstract

The internet, and social media in particular, create new opportunities and pose new challenges for the ways people think about themselves as well as manage the expressions and performances of their identities. In this research project I aim to refine and extend the latest theories on social media and identity, especially about 1) fixating the fragmented self (van Zoonen 2013), 2) collapsed contexts (boyd 2011) and 3) the multiplication of contexts (Papacharissi 2011), by investigating those phenomena from the perspective of diasporic LGBTQs (Polish post-accession immigrants to the UK). I will examine what diasporic LGBTQs and their social media's uses can teach us about the relationship between the internet and identity, as well as what opportunities and difficulties social media create to a group that faces different challenges of exclusion and discrimination. I will first use a quantitative survey to map the diversity of social media used by Polish LGBTQs in the UK. However, because I am primarily interested in meanings of daily media practices, it is qualitative methods, and in-depth interviews in particular, which will form the core of my methodological toolkit. At the same time, to trigger more and better quality data I will combine traditional qualitative methods with such innovative approaches as think-aloud protocols (which require from participants to talk about the activity in which they are involved) and digital methods (the methods of the medium under scrutiny).

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Querying public broadcasting. 01/02/2015 - 30/04/2015

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand the client. UA provides the client research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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Media and identities in globalised society. 13/09/2014 - 12/07/2017

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand Erasmus Mundus. UA provides Erasmus Mundus research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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Media and identities in globalised society. 09/09/2014 - 08/07/2017

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand Erasmus Mundus. UA provides Erasmus Mundus research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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Intersections and identifications in media use: ethnicity, sexuality and generations. 01/10/2013 - 30/09/2014

Abstract

This project aims to investigate the intersection of different sources of identification: nationality, ethnicity and sexual orientation. Theoretically, it aims to explore and develop parallels in thinking on these three fields, focusing in particular on the uneasy relation between ethnic and sexual 'minority' status in a particular national context. Empirically, it aims to do this through in-depth qualitative research on the media uses and identifications of migrant and ethnic minority LGBTs. Rather than focusing on one medium (as is usual in reception research), this project will consider the different uses of 'old' mass and 'new' online media.

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Research on the perception of young parenthood among vulnerable young people. 01/02/2013 - 31/05/2013

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and the Flemish Public Service. UA provides the Flemish Public Service research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract. The main objective is to investigate the media representation of young parenthood on Flemish television and its reception among socially vulnerable young people.

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'Blanton the (r)evolutionary': A contextualization of Jimmie Blanton's jazz bass playing. 01/01/2013 - 31/12/2016

Abstract

In this project we aim to analyze and situate Blanton's artistic output in its historical context using a combination of methods such as transcription, comparative musical analysis, archival research and musical experimentation. We will do this in two parts. Based on transcriptions, the first part will analyze Blanton's own bass playing styles and techniques. The second part will use case studies as a basis to compare Blanton's bass playing to that of a selection of precursors and contemporaries.

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Homonegativity and Gender Deviance: A Comparative Analysis of the Relationship between Ideas on Gender and Sexuality in Flanders, The Netherlands, and the United States. 01/10/2012 - 31/12/2015

Abstract

This project investigates to what extent and in what manner attitudes toward non-heteronormative sexualities can be explained by attitudes toward gender. The corpus of analyzed texts consists of book and film reviews from the period 1960 until today. For each compared region (Flanders, The Netherlands, the U.S.), two written media (a newspaper and a weekly) will be analyzed.

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Queer sounds: The function and meaning of music in the formation and evolution of an LGBT subculture in the city of Antwerp (1960-2010). 01/01/2012 - 31/12/2015

Abstract

This project aims to contribute to a better understanding of the function of music in processes of subcultural identification, focusing on the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community in Antwerp. It is widely accepted that music plays an important role in the formation and self-definition of minorities and subcultures, but its function in the LGBT community has not been extensively investigated yet. Moreover, Flemish LGBT culture and its history have hardly come up for academic analysis to date. Our aim is, first, to find out what musical repertoire and which musical functions were shared within the LGBT scene, focusing on the largest Flemish urban centre Antwerp, between 1960 (the start of the LGBT movement in Antwerp) and 2010. Secondly, we will analyse how this repertoire and its uses operate as subcultural capital and contribute to the formation of one or more LGBT subcultures.

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'Jack The Bear': A comparative analysis of the innovations in jazz bass playing by Jimmie Blanton. 01/01/2012 - 31/12/2013

Abstract

Jimmie Blanton is widely regarded as one of the prime innovators of jazz bass playing. However, to date there has been no attempt to precisely and systematically determine in which areas he was innovative. Based on a strong theory-practice nexus, this artistic research aims to reach a thorough understanding of the innovative aspects in the jazz bass playing of Blanton, in order to fill the lacunae that still prevail on this issue.

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TV and the nation in global city. 30/09/2011 - 29/07/2012

Abstract

This project represents a formal research agreement between UA and on the other hand Erasmus Mundus. UA provides Erasmus Mundus research results mentioned in the title of the project under the conditions as stipulated in this contract.

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The function and meaning of music in the formation and evolution of a LGB subculture in the city of Antwerp (1960-2010) 01/07/2011 - 30/06/2015

Abstract

This project aims to better understand the function of music in processes of subcultural identification, focusing on the LGB (Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual) community in Antwerp. It is known that music plays an important role in the formation and self-definition of minorities and subcultures, but its function in the LGB community has not been extensively researched. Moreover, Flemish LGB culture and its history have hardly been academically researched to date. Our aim is to first find out which musical repertoire and which musical functions were shared within the LGB scene, focusing on the largest Flemish urban centre Antwerp, between 1960 (the start of the LGB movement in Antwerp) and 2010. Secondly, we will analyse how this repertoire and its uses operate as subcultural capital and contribute to the formation of one or more LGB subculture(s). A combination of qualitative methods (archive research, document analysis, in-depth interviews with informants and participants in LGB culture) is used to get a holistic view on historical processes and evolutions in these musical cultures. This project brings together insights from media studies, LGB/queer studies and history, aiming to bridge the distance between these disciplines in a specific case study.

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Project website

Who's In? Who's Out? A comparative analysis of sexual and gender minority self-representations in cyberspace in Poland, Scotland and Turkey. 01/10/2010 - 30/09/2014

Abstract

This research project explores how members of sexual and gender minority communities (activists, editors and media users) represent themselves using online media. In particular, the project aims to explore representational practices among different sexual and gender minorities (lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex and/or queer persons) and in different national, cultural and religious contexts (Poland, Scotland and Turkey).

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Television 2.0: production and reception of transmedia fiction 01/01/2010 - 31/12/2011

Abstract

This research studies transmedia fiction, i.e. fiction series that are not restricted to television. First, the study will focus on the production of transmedia fiction: how and why is this transmedia process happening and which possible paratexts can a TV text have? Second, the study will focus on the reception of transmedia fiction: what does it mean to follow a show, why and how do viewers engage with a TV series?

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Population survey in preparation for the new management of the VRT with the Flemish government. 01/12/2009 - 31/05/2010

Abstract

This project investigates the opinion of the audience on the future position and role of public broadcasting in society. Based on a literature review on the task and future of public broadcasting, a representative sample of Flemings (1500 respondentsz) is surveyed. The analysis and interpretation of the data leads to a report analysing the vision of the audience and discussing implications for the future contract between the Flemish government and the public broadcaster.

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Culture on public broadcasters. 15/01/2009 - 15/03/2009

Abstract

The aim of this project is the study of the cultural programming of a selection of public service broadcasters in Europe with a view to create benchmarks for the evaluation of the cultural programming on Flemish PSB VRT.

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Cultural identification with Flemish TV drama: Reception research into the formation of identities. 01/10/2005 - 31/12/2007

Abstract

This project researches the contemporary reception of and identification with Flemish television fiction. First, the textual characteristics of contemporary TV-fiction are charted. The basic question is: how is Flanders represented? A particular point of attention is the representation of 'normality'. On this level, we situate the contemporary form of national identity in television fiction: that what is represented as 'common sense', everyday and taken for granted. Secondly, this project researches viewer responses to contemporary Flemish TV-fiction. How are its images of Flanders experienced by the viewers, and do they identify with it? There are many indications that a stable notion of national identity was replaced by less stable, multiple forms of identification. To research this, we use qualitative audience research.

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