Suiting Up and Stripping Down: the Changing Face of (American) Hegemonic Masculinity

Emily Friedrich

Abstract


This paper provides a critical analysis of masculinity in the recent popular film The Avengers and the popular Iron Man film series. A review of some prominent literature on hegemonic masculinity, masculinity in crisis, multiple masculinities, and hybrid masculinity provides the basis for the argument that hegemonic masculinity and gender expectations are in fact changing, but that this does not signal an end to the power that hegemonic masculinity holds. Areas of focus include embodiment, technology, and sexuality, and their relationships to the men and masculinities depicted in these films. This submission was created with the specific intent to analyze depictions of masculinity in these films especially in relation to men and is not meant to be an exhaustive statement on all of the complexities of these films or to equate men and masculinity. I hope in the near future to fill some of the gaps in my analysis by analyzing the depictions of women and femininity in these films and how popular culture, feminism, and hypermasculinity interact, examining the various proposed strategies for unseating the dominance of masculinity in film and for promoting feminism in popular culture.

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