Performing American Masculinities

Performing American Masculinities

The 21st-Century Man in Popular Culture
Elwood Watson and Marc Shaw
Distribution: World
Publication date: 04/21/2011
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0-253-22270-1
Bookmark and Share

 Add to Wish List 

Other formats available:


This collection highlights the fluidity of masculinity in American popular culture at the turn of the new millennium and beyond by examining possibilities for male identity formation. Each chapter mines American popular culture—theatre, film, literature, music, advertising, internet content, television, photography, and current events—to pose questions about the process of gender creation and the contestation of masculinities as constantly changing political forms. The first section explores masculinities within late capitalism and includes studies of Seinfeld, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, and reality television. The second section addresses identity when masculinity intersects with race, religion, disability, and sexuality, including chapters on Barack Obama, the O.J. trial, and popular movies.

Author Bio

Elwood Watson is Professor of History, African American Studies, and Gender Studies at East Tennessee State University. He is author of Outsiders Within: Black Women in the Legal Academy after Brown v. Board.

Marc E. Shaw is Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts at Hartwick College. His recent publications include contributions to the book Twilight and Philosophy.


“Shaw and Watson have assembled a collection in which well-known cultural artifacts—the OJ trial Seinfeld, metrosexuality and Barack Obama, among others—are reconsidered in the light of gender studies. The result is fresh and bold, enabling us to see these events and images in a new light.”
 — Michael Kimmel, author of Manhood in America

“Performing American Masculinities focuses usefully on a range of specific anxieties related to masculinity, including those created by differences of race and sexuality, as well as of non-normative gender subjectivities.”
 — David Buchbinder, Curtin University of Technology

Customer Reviews

There are currently no reviews
Write a review on this title.

Table of Contents


Introduction: From Seinfeld to Obama: Millennial Masculinities in Contemporary American Culture / Marc E. Shaw and Elwood Watson

Part 1. Masculinities and the Market: Late Capitalism and Corporate Influence on Gender Processes
1. Masters of Their Domain: Seinfeld and the Discipline of Mediated Men's Sexual Economy / C. Wesley Buerkle
2. Sexually Suspect: Masculine Anxiety in the Films of Neil LaBute / Brenda Boudreau
3. The Might of the Metrosexual: How a Mere Marketing Tool Challenges Hegemonic Masculinity / Margaret C. Ervin
4. Fathers, Sons, and Business in the Hollywood "Office Movie" / Latham Hunter

Part 2. Beyond Gender Alone: Defining Multidimensional Masculinities
5. Popular Memory, Racial Construction, and the Visual Illusion of Freedom: The Re-mediation of O.J. and Cinque / John Kille
6. Obama's Masculinities: A Landscape of Essential Contradictions / Marc E. Shaw and Elwood Watson
7. The Male Rapunzel in Film: The Intersections of Disability, Gender, Race, and Sexuality / Johnson Cheu and Carolyn Tyjewski
8. Masculinities in Dating Relationships: Reality and Representation at the Intersection of Race, Class, and Sexual Orientation / Jimmie Manning
9. "Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Real Man?": Female-to-Male Transgender Embodiment and the Politics of the "Real" in A Boy Named Sue and Body Alchemy / Michel J. Boucher


Related Titles