Published on Brock University (http://www.brocku.ca)
Terrance H. McDonald
Mediated Masculinities: The Commodification of Masculinity in American Cinema, 1995-2005
This project investigates the intersections of masculinities studies, discourses of capitalism, and film studies in turn of the millennium America cinema. Through philosophies of immanence, I theorize that the perceived crisis of masculinity causes a shift from masculinity as relational, how one acts masculine, to the commodification of masculinity, the process that causes masculinities to be perceived as the product of consuming of goods and services. While Michael S. Kimmel (2006) argues that contemporary “men are angry and restless because of what they experience as the erosion of their ‘rightful’ privilege” (p. 220), this project examines how the commodification of masculinity, which solicits men into closed loops of consumption as they attempt to embody an ideal masculinity, is an alternative source of anxiety and anger. What is at stake are the possibilities of masculinities outside of closed loops of consumption that are structured by discourses of capitalism. Consequently, this dissertation will not only contribute to ongoing conversations within film studies and masculinities studies, but, more broadly, it generates a theoretical model that moves beyond the masculinity in crisis debate as well as opening new ways to consider the increasing modes of violence associated with masculine behavior.