Heteronormativity as Discursive Action: The Utility of ‘Positioning’ as Analytic Lens

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master in Social Psychology



First Advisor

Mira Alexis P. Ofreneo, PhD


The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the value of positioning theory in examining the operation of heteronormativity as regulatory discursive action. The study uses positioning analysis to investigate in situ a discursive event where LGBT identities were made relevant—the discussion in Philippine print media of the statement of boxing icon Manny Pacquiao calling LGBT persons “worse than animals”. Selected for analysis were 52 relevant articles, consisting of reports and opinions, published within 6 weeks of Pacquiao’s statement. Results demonstrate the regulation of two aspects of being LGBT: the permissibility of particular actions, including public acts of intimacy, intercourse, marriage, and raising children; and their status in society, produced as non-integral and as undesirable. Discussion points pertain to the ability of positioning as a lens to recognize the regulatory action of speech as expressed in various forms and when concealed by a variety of discursive strategies.

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