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Magazine and reader constructions of ‘metrosexuality’ and masculinity: a membership categorisation analysis.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2011
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Gender Studies
Issue number1
Volume20
Number of pages20
Pages (from-to)67-86
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Since the launch of men's lifestyle magazines in the 1980s, academic literature has predominantly focused on them as a cultural phenomenon arising from entrepreneurial and commercial initiatives and/or as cultural texts that proffer representations of masculinity such as ‘new lad’ and ‘new dad’. This paper steps aside from the focus on culture and, instead, treats magazine content as a discursive space in which gender and sexuality are oriented to, negotiated, and accomplished within and beyond the magazine itself (i.e. through readers' responses). Specifically, membership categorisation analysis is deployed to explore how the relatively new (and perhaps alternative) category for men – ‘metrosexual’ – is presented and received. Our analysis suggests that masculinity concerns are central in debates about ‘metrosexuality’, with self-identified ‘metrosexuals’ invoking heterosexual prowess and self-respect on the one hand, and critics (e.g. self-identified ‘real men’) lamenting ‘metrosexuality’ for its perceived effeminacy and lack of authenticity on the other. Implications for understanding contemporary masculinities are discussed.