Study Questions 14: Tu Apr 15: Violence and Masculinity
1. In what ways does Katz's analysis reinforce the arguments he makes in "Tough Guise"?
2. What particular elements do advertising images add to our understanding of the social construction of violent masculinities?
3. What are some of the mechanisms through which dominant or privliged positions like "American" and "whiteness" and "middle classness" and "maleness" remain largely invisible or empty of content markers?
4. How do issues of class inequality get displaced into compensatory masculinities? How does racial oppression get displaced into hyper-masculine role-playing?
5. According to Breazeale, and your own observations, what are some of the similarities and what are some of the key differences between how men and women are taught to be consumers?
6. How is the construction of the male consumer by "Esquire" like and unlike the construction of the female consumer by magazines like "Cosmopolitan"?
7. How is that women came to be blamed for the rise of a consumer society driven largely by male advertisers?
8. What historical and socio-economic factors facilitated "Esquire's" gender warfare approach to creating the male consumer? What kinds of relations were set up between the articles and the visuals in the magazine?
9. How are newer magazines like "Maxim" like and unlike "Esquire" in their approach to creating better male consumers?
10. According to Breazeale and your own observations, what relation do you see between the needs of a market ecnonomy and the needs to exaggerate gender differences and exploit gendered social tensions? What new examples of this process do you see in the years since the mid-90s when the article was written?