Masculinity and Popular Television

Masculinity and Popular Television

Masculinity and Popular Television

Masculinity and Popular Television

Synopsis

This book is a comprehensive and accessible introduction to the key debates concerning the representation of masculinities in a wide range of popular television genres. The volume looks at the depiction of public masculinity in the soap opera, homosexuality in the situation comedy, the portrayal of fatherhood in prime-time animation, emerging manhood in the supernatural teen text, alternative gender roles in science fiction, male authority in the police series, masculine anxieties in the hospital drama, violence and aggression in sports coverage, ordinariness and emotional connectedness in the reality game show, and domesticity in lifestyle television. Masculinity and Popular Television examines the ways in which masculinities are being constructed, circulated and interrogated in contemporary British and American programming, and considers the ways in which such images can be understood in relation to the 'common sense' model of the hegemonic male that is said to dominate the cultural landscape. Key Features
• Offers a clear and comprehensive overview of existing theoretical debates concerning the representation of masculinities on the small screen.
• Explores various representations of masculinities across a wide range of popular television genres.
• Draws on a broad range of today's most critically and commercially successful television programmes in order to make the volume both accessible and enjoyable for the reader.

Excerpt

1.INTRODUCTION: THEORISING
MASCULINITIES ON THE
SMALL SCREEN

Television studies is the new and growing academic discipline that emerged out of a diverse range of sociology, politics, film, media and cultural theory departments during the late 1970s and early 1980s. However, even though television studies was originally understood as the populist subfield of existing disciplines it has more recently gained critical renown and respectability in its own right. After all, the history and pervasiveness of television, the virtually unlimited number of programme choices available, the sheer reach of the medium and the ability to access and archive previously ephemeral texts has appealed to a recent generation of scholars and students who not only accept, but more importantly, embrace the small screen.

The discipline appeals to a broad cross-section of the academic community, and as such, extant literature spans such distinct and disparate areas as market reforms in television production (Deakin and Pratten 2000), television and cultural policy (Ouellette and Lewis 2000), television and consumption (Dickinson et al. 2001), the role of the audience (Hill 2002), the privatisation of public television (Hoynes 2003), television's impact on global culture (Mathijs and Jones 2004) and television stardom (Jermyn 2006). And yet, irrespective of the broad scope of such research, the topic that has dominated and continues to dominate the burgeoning field is that of gender roles and sex role stereotyping.

However, if one considers that the term 'gender studies' has until very recently been synonymous with women's studies, and that literature on the representation of gender in the mass media tends to focus on an examination of femininity and a woman's role in film, advertising and the magazine sector, then it will come as no surprise to find that existing research on representations of gender on television is dominated by work seeking to expose or unmask the depiction of women on the small screen. Such work has looked to explore the depiction of the matriarch in the prime-time soap opera (Madill and Goldmeier . . .

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