Exploring Masculine Ideologies

Session Chair: Gokcen Coskuner, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Discussion Leader: Craig Thompson, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Session Name: Exploring Masculine Ideologies

 

“Grooming Masculinities: A Poststructuralist Analysis of Masculinity Discourses in Films” by Gokcen Coskuner, University of Wisconsin-Madison

 

In this paper, I take a poststructuralist approach to explore the masculinity discourses circulated in films. I focus on men’s grooming practices as a venue that has become situated in a gender ideology. Through analyzing media representations of different type of masculinities, I first aim to understand the symbolic boundaries between masculinities that are expressed through distinctive grooming. Second, I propose that men’s grooming practices not only carry gender instructions but also reflect/ create/ reestablish boundaries around social class and ethnicity. Finally, I highlight two key ideological dimensions – rebellion versus conformity and femininity versus masculinity as imperative tensions in men’s consumption and identity projects.

 

“Men’s Responses to Depictions of Ideal Masculinity in Advertising” by Linda Tuncay, Loyola University Chicago

 

While past research has investigated the ideals of masculinity, little research has examined how mediated messages of masculinity in advertising are experienced by consumers. To investigate this issue, 20 in-depth interviews were conducted, using advertisements as projective aids. Men’s reactions to images of masculinity in ads were investigated in order to uncover what their responses revealed about their own notions of masculinity. A typology of response styles was developed. Moreover, based on these response styles, five themes emerged in consumers’ experiences of masculinity. These included: (1) authenticity (2) vulnerability (3) individuality (4) achievement and (5) elusiveness.

 

“The Challenge of the New Masculinity: Conservative Reactions to a New Consumption Ethos ” by Jacob Ostberg, Stockholm University School of Business

 

This study presents theoretical and empirical arguments regarding traditionally style conscious consumers’ responses to the influx of the new hegemonic masculinity. The research is based on online and real life participant observational studies and looks at a how an enclave of young, well-off consumers respond to the increased aesthetization of mainstream consumption. I propose that the traditional elite is experiencing a crisis in masculinity, as the aspiring new elite is mimicking their consumption style. To handle this crisis they engage in conspicuous non-consumption. They also use women to manifest their masculinity in light of the new, allegedly feminized, consumption ethos.
[ to cite ]:
Session Chair: Gokcen Coskuner and Discussion Leader: Craig Thompson (2006) ,"Exploring Masculine Ideologies ", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 33, eds. Connie Pechmann and Linda Price, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 63-66.