Pimps, Wimps, Studs, Thugs and Gentlemen

Essays on Media Images of Masculinity


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About the Book

With essays ranging in topic from the films of Neil LaBute to the sexual politics of Major League Baseball, this diverse collection of essays examines the multi-faceted media images of contemporary masculinity from a variety of perspectives and academic disciplines. The book’s first half focuses on the issue of racialized masculinity and its various manifestations, with essays covering, among other topics, the re-imagining of Asian American masculinity in Justin Lin’s Better Luck Tomorrow and the ever-present image of black male buffoonery in the neo-minstrel performances of VH1’s Flavor of Love. The book’s second half explores the issue of contemporary mediated performance and the cultural politics of masculinity, with essays focusing on popular media representations of men in a variety of gendered roles, from homemakers and househusbands to valorous war heroes and athletic demigods.

About the Author(s)

Elwood Watson is a professor of history and African American studies at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Elwood Watson
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 318
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2009
pISBN: 978-0-7864-4305-5
eISBN: 978-0-7864-5508-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Introduction      1


1. The Dilemma of the Italian American Male

Marc DiPaolo      13

2. Patrick Bateman as “Average White Male” in American Psycho

Daniel Mudie Cunningham      40

3. Ambivalence, Desire and the Re-Imagining of Asian American Masculinity in Better Luck Tomorrow

Ruthann Lee      51

4. The Black Interior, Reparations and African American Masculinity in The Wiz

Jesse Scott      68

5. Flavor of Love and the Rise of Neo-Minstrelsy on Reality Television

Valerie Palmer-Mehta and Alina Haliliuc      85

6. Jungle Fever: Bold, Beautiful and Unnecessarily Maligned
Daryl A. Carter      106

7. Celebrity Culture and Racial Masculinities: The Case of Will Smith

David Magill      126


8. Constructions of Mathematical Masculinities in Popular Culture

Marie-Pierre Moreau, Heather Mendick and Debbie Epstein 141

9. Killing Off White Hegemonic Masculinity in Indian Killer

Jane E. Rose      157

10. Narrative’s Role in Constructing Masculinities in We Were Soldiers

Bradley Smith      180

11. Masculinity and Domesticity in A Home at the End of the World and Househusband

Helena Wahlstrom      196

12. Anxious Male Domesticity and Gender Troubled Corrections

Kristin Jacobson      216

13. Neil LaBute’s Bodies in Question

Marc Shaw      242

14. O.J. Simpson: Tabloidized, Sexualized, Racialized and Largely Despised

Elwood Watson      258

15. Major League Baseball and the Cultural Politics of Sexuality

Rachelle Sussman      277

About the Contributors      299

Index      303