This article explores how gay men in Iceland were constructed as good responsible citizens through neoliberal discourses from 1990 to 2010. Drawing on interviews with gay men in Icelandic magazines, we focus on three discursive formations of responsibilization that reveal the technologies of agency at play in transforming the men into good, responsible gay citizens capable of self-management. The discursive formations focus on the good gay citizen who (a) has a positive mind-set, (b) transforms himself, and (c) displaces responsibility for personal harm. They reveal how gay men are constituted as neoliberal subjects through discursive practices linked to responsibility, happiness, and national progress. These practices enable a normalization process devoid of confrontation, anger, or blame where gay men are not only made responsible for their own lives but also the marginalization they experienced in the past.
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- historical discourse analysis
- media discourses
- neoliberal governmentality