Graduate Program

Communication Studies

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

David Gracon

Thesis Committee Member

Richard G. Jones, Jr.

Thesis Committee Member

Olaf Hoerschelmann


Hegemonic masculinity is a constantly evolving and highly nuanced theory. The original definition was designed to study the oppression males exert over females. Later definitions expanded on the original to include young, effeminate or gay men. In the realm of television, hegemonic masculine forces are perpetuated by not only male characters but marginalized groups as well. This creates gender stereotypes to be accepted and embraced as the norm in a culture. This project takes a critical look at the animated television comedy Family Guy and explains how hegemonic masculinity is portrayed throughout the episode "Family Gay". To accomplish this, the thesis is broken down into four sections: an establishment of theoretical framework, a textual analysis of the episode "Family Gay", an analysis of two focus groups who watched the episode and a discussion of the findings. Such concepts used in this text to help explain how hegemonic masculinity is portrayed in Family Guy are: gender, othering, privilege, infantilism and polysemic texts.