This article explores the limits and possibilities of Edward Bruner’s ideas and concepts about “cultural expressions” and ethnographic narrative through the lens of the lives Filipino immigrant gay men living in New York City. I utilize the framing possibilities of “cultural expressions” as a way to understand the levels of meanings-making that exist in the lives of these men and how they are able to articulate these meanings and encapsulate them in various cultural forms and practices. I focus on their concerns about “aesthetics” broadly conceived and their idea of beauty (“biyuti”), which permeated their quotidian struggles as well as their organized and staged cultural performances. The beauty of biyuti as a cultural crystallization of the Filipino gay men’s life worlds is that it evokes the ways in which cultural expressions function as mediating nodes between experience and reality.
- Filipino gay men
- New York City
- cultural expressions
- everyday experience
- Literature and Literary Theory