Description - Representing Men by Kenneth MacKinnon
Until quite recently, the term 'gender studies' seemed to promise a species of women's studies. The danger in this is that masculinity could appear to be a lot less rewarding as an object of inquiry, as if it were somehow purely a product of nature or biology - almost as though, while women to some extent learned gender through social experience, men were simply the way they were, unalterable. Representing Men takes its cue from the greater visibility of men's studies in the 1990s. It interests itself in the way that mass media do not so much 'reflect' masculinity in society as 'teach' it, by creating or reinforcing its images. The ideas of many books and articles of particularly the last two decades are synthesised to show the range of masculinities. While these publications normally deal with one specific medium apiece, the present study considers four distinct, if related, media: namely, movies, television, advertising and sports coverage (especially on television and in newspapers). In this study, Kenneth MacKinnon suggests that ultimately masculinity is no straightforward actuality. Instead, several aspects of masculinity are ideals rather than social realities.
These ideals might be best understood as forming a near-impossible version of masculinity to which males in society are encouraged to aspire if they want to be 'real men'. Because the ideals are embodied in movie, television and sports stars and the men of advertisements, they can seem so real. Representing Men aims to alert its readers to the processes as well as purpose of such media representations.
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(232mm x 155mm x 8mm)
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
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Author Biography - Kenneth MacKinnon
Kenneth MacKinnon is Emeritus Professor of Film Studies at London Metropolitan University.