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The Elvis We Deserve: The Social Regulation of Sex/Gender and sexuality through Cultural Representations of ‘The King’

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    Rights statement: © The Authors (2010). This is a post-peer review, pre-copyedited version of and article published in Law, Culture and the Humanities, 2010, 6:221. The final publication is available at http://www.sagepublications.com

    Accepted author manuscript, 186 KB, PDF document

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-24
Number of pages3
JournalLaw, Culture and the Humanities
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010


This paper analyses the way in which the image, masculinity and sexual identity of Elvis Presley have been recently culturally deployed by particular social groups. It explores the way in which the image of Elvis is used by lesbian drag king performers who try to queer the cultural stereotypes which underpin the social regulation of gender roles; and the use of Elvis’s image by the UK fathers’ rights campaign group Fathers 4 Justice, as a sign of unthreatening familiarity to support traditional heteronormative ideas of masculinity and gender roles. These cultural re-appropriations of Elvis raise questions for contemporary understandings of sex/gender and sexuality; as the motto of the San Francisco-based Elvis impersonator 'Extreme Elvis' suggests, 'Every generation gets the Elvis it deserves'.

    Research areas

  • drag kings, Elvis, gender, masculinity, performance, sexuality

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