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Idealized bodies, the grotesque and homosocial communities: masculinities and men's magazines

By Sarah Jane Doan

Abstract

This thesis examines images and dialogues of the male body in contemporary men’s lifestyle magazines. Taking the examples of two top-selling British men’s lifestyle magazines FHM and Men’s Health, and their respective websites, I unpack mediated constructions of white, heterosexual masculinities using the combined methods of semiology, discourse analysis and non-participant observation. The male body is central to this project, and the ways that it is represented as idealized and grotesque are analysed for the ways that they each impact upon perceptions of white heterosexual masculinities and conceptions of the ‘Other’. Reading the male body as idealised and grotesque also introduces wider feminist debates on the male gaze, representation, and whether the grotesque can be theorised from the perspective of masculinities. The construction of online communities and reader dialogues is also examined in relation to discourses of the body, identity and masculinity. The work in this thesis explores the basis for contemporary representations of white heterosexual masculinities and male bodies in men’s lifestyle magazines and their respective websites

Topics: BF, HM
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:2592

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