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Abstract

This essay examines the strategic use of empathic communication that fosters a loving struggle for Existenz in “Straight Man in a Gay World” (2005), an episode of Morgan Spurlock’s documentary-styled television program 30 Days. The show functions as a persuasive discourse designed to influence the heterosexual participant and, by extension, the implied audience. This essay offers an overview of key terms in the study of empathy and analyzes key moments of empathic communication in the episode.

Keywords

Empathy, LGBTQ Studies, Morgan Spurlock, 30 Days, Televisual Documentary

Author Bio(s)

Michael Warren Tumolo, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at California State University, Stanislaus. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to mtumolo@csustan.edu.

Jennifer Biedendorf, Ph.D., is Lecturer of Communication Studies at California State University, Stanislaus. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: jbiedendorf@csustan.edu.

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Brett Lunceford and Erik Garrett for reading earlier drafts of this essay and Morgan Spurlock for putting it out into the world.

Publication Date

6-27-2016

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.

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