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What do we learn about styles of contemporary masculinity from superhero movies? (Essay Sample)

This is the Criteria: You can choose any of the topics in the "Instructions" if you are more comfortable with that needs to have at least 5 ACADEMIC sources APA format Final Essay: The final essay will extend the critical argumentation of the shorter media analyses to a series of media texts, ie. instead of developing a single example from a media text, students will support their theses with evidence from a number of similar media texts. Students are welcome to develop any of the weekly discussion questions as the basis of their essays or to propose new ones. Students are encouraged to discuss new topics with their instructor before devoting too much time to them. Examples of final essay research questions:  What is the source of the enduring appeal of the werewolf in popular culture?  Is popular music criticism always indebted to concepts of authenticity? What is the political effect?  As advertizing becomes more self‐ referential and ironic, does the representation of women become less confining?  What do we learn about styles of contemporary masculinity from superhero movies?  What relationship to “the real” does the horror film cultivate? Essays will be 10‐12 pages in length and are worth 40 % of students' final marks. They are due via the moodle drop box by midnight on Tuesday, April 6th source..
Running Head: What do we learn about styles of contemporary masculinity from superhero movies?
What do we learn about styles of contemporary masculinity from superhero movies?
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What do we learn about styles of contemporary masculinity from superhero movies?
Masculinity refers to the set of qualities, attributes and roles attributed with the male gender, and the habits and personality traits considered desirable in men. Following in the footprints of feminist scholarship, during the last decade, there has been an increasing number of studies proposing and concluding that heterosexual masculinity associated with brawn and brute strength is a social construct in a similar way as femininity is associated with meek and fragile women. It is in the process of being critically analyzed and deconstructed from the natural gender identity it was considered previously, into a variety of levels of social and political affairs and media influence. It is no longer seen as a real and unified position, but like feminism, an idea put into the mass`s head leading them to believe that something socially constructed is the natural way of life.
Masculinity has been exploring its own duality in all domains of life, from psychology to TV Series, contemporary literary works or superhero movies. Often, men are presented with two extremes of manliness. They can be either the jerk, or the hero who saves the damsel in distress. He can be either the muscular hunk, or the socially awkward boy with skinny arms. At one extreme, he can be the hyper-masculine person oozing sex appeal, or the failure with glasses. It is the existence of each of them in opposition to one another, which allows them to exist side-by-side (Brown). Like all gender roles, this idea is socially constructed too. The idea of masculinity, which seduces the opposite gender, is greatly influenced by the social media, including and principally through the mainstream Hollywood movies and television series (Cohan, 1997).
Since the budding days of Hollywood, its productions have made great contributions towards how the society sees masculinity. It has shifted and morphed along with the depictions in the movies, with some claiming that it is the cause for the changing perceptions while others claiming it as an outcome. Even after the Production Code system, which had earlier strictly defined the rules for gender portrayals, was replaced by the MPAA ratings system, the notions about sex-specific roles took a while to change.
While the blockbusters of 70`s and 80`s show muscular men rescuing the ladies, in every genre including superhero movies, the recent movies of the 21st century see a movement away from this traditional idea. When the "Superhero cinema" was born a little over a decade ago, the superhero image was completely modified, when the modern day superhero idols would resemble Peter Parker more than John Rambo.
Within this division of social med...
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