This thesis demonstrates that legislation introduced by the National Party of South Africa between 1950 and 1988 was ineffective in subduing the exchange of homoerotic commodities. Ultimately, the quantitative and qualitative methodology used in this thesis reveals that despite increased regulation, some same-sex desiring men in South Africa had the means to participate in a transnational network of exchange. This transient network of commodities and images created a community beyond borders and boundaries that resisted regulation and created a space for like-minded individuals to communicate.
Methodologically, this thesis is a composite of macro- and micro-history that navigates contentious issues with cultural history and simultaneously addresses some limitations of visualizing data in this manner. Collections from the Gay and Lesbian Memory in Action (GALA) archive in Johannesburg, South Africa are digitized and processed to visualize two different commodity networks (http://dangerdeviancyanddesire.com). Associated correspondence, editorials, newspaper clippings, and oral histories corroborate these visualizations.