Between Two Worlds: an Ethnographic Study of Gay Consumer Culture in Rio de Janeiro

Author:Severino Joaquim Nunes Pereira - Eduardo André Teixeira Ayrosa
Position:Universidade Gama Filho, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil - Fundação Getúlio Vargas, EBAPE/ FGV, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
SUMMARY

It is not easy to study socially marginalized groups such as gays, ethnic minorities, and others. This is, however, an extremely relevant topic in the consumer behavior area since the status of members of a modern consumer society is largely denied to stigmatized social groups (Barbosa, 2006). The objective of this work is to shed light on how gay men in Rio de Janeiro use the discourse... (see full summary)

 
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BAR, Rio de Janeiro, v. 9, n. 2, art. 5,
pp. 211-228, Apr./June 2012
Between Two Worlds: an Ethnographic Study of Gay Consumer
Culture in Rio de Janeiro
Severino Joaquim Nunes Pereira *
E-mail address: bill.pereira4@gmail.com
Universidade Gama Filho
Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.
Eduardo André Teixeira Ayrosa
E-mail address: eduardo.ayrosa@fgv.br
Fundação Getúlio Vargas – EBAPE/ FGV
Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.
* Corresponding author: Severino Joaquim Nunes Pereira
Praia de Botafogo, 124, apto. 502, Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, 22250-040. Brazil.
Copyright © 2012 Brazilian Administration Review. All rights reserved, including rights for
translation. Parts of this work may be quoted without prior knowledge on the condition that
the source is identified.
S. J. N. Pereira, E. A. T. Ayrosa 212
BAR, Rio de Janeiro, v. 9, n. 2, art. 5, pp. 211-228, Apr./June 2012 www.anpad.org.br/bar
Abstract
It is not easy to study socially marginalized groups such a s gays, ethnic minorities, and others. T his is, however,
an extremely relevant topic in the co nsumer behavior area since the status of members of a modern consumer
society is largely denied to stigmatized social groups (Barbosa, 2006). The obj ective of this work is to shed light
on how ga y men in Rio de Janeiro use the discourse associated with their possessions to build and maintain the
symbolic and hierarchical bou ndaries between the gay and heterosexual worlds, as well as to investigate the role
consumption plays in this boundary setting. An ethnographic observation of a gro up of ga y men i n Rio de
Janeiro was cond ucted, along with 20 semi-structured interviews with openly gay men bet ween 2005 and 2008.
The results suggest that: (a) the world culturally built by gays seems to be divided into a gay world and a
heterosexual world , where the division between these two worlds not onl y happens in their minds, but also in
their possessions and purchasing decisio ns; (b) the meaning of gay me ns’ places of consumption range fro m
profane to sacred along their lives; and (c) in the gay world, the body i s seen both as a cultural construction and
as an asset.
Key words: gay consumption; identity; culture and consumption; sti gma.

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