Heroes, Metanarratives, and the Paradox of Masculinity in Contemporary Western Culture

  title={Heroes, Metanarratives, and the Paradox of Masculinity in Contemporary Western Culture},
  author={Kevin Alexander Boon},
  journal={The Journal of Men's Studies},
  pages={301 - 312}
  • K. Boon
  • Published 2005
  • Sociology
  • The Journal of Men's Studies
The mythic figuration of the hero thrives in contemporary American culture, functioning as both an unattainable ideal against which contemporary masculinity is measured and a mythic means of assuring survival. This figuration places contemporary men in a double bind, or paradox, which offers two alternatives: (1) reject traditional definitions of masculine behavior and risk being labeled by culture as less than a man, or (2) embrace the testosterone-based behaviors that define the hero figure… Expand
Exploring Sociocultural Borderlands: Journeying, Navigating, and Embodying a Queer Identity
This case study explores experiences of a bisexual Latino male (age 18) whose identities cross various boundaries of heteronormativity routinely legitimized through a variety of school practices.Expand
In the periphery of the margin: white masculinity in contemporary American fiction /Chan Suet Ni.
My thesis discusses male identity in contemporary culture in relation to work by Bret Easton Ellis and Chuck Palahniuk. Such work reflects the problems, anxieties, and dilemmas of the masculineExpand
The formation of heroes and the myth of national identity
Abstract This paper discusses sports hero formation in relation to national identity, arguing that it can be a critical component of the development of a hero. A netnographic approach, thatExpand
Manhood in crisis: powerlessness, homophobia and violence in Fight Club
The following study will explicate how in Palahniuk's Fight Club, the narrator is in a certain crisis of manhood as a result of his contradictory experiences of power under the impositions ofExpand
Masculinities in Achebe's TFA
Established heroic traits are essential background ingredients for the construction of masculinities in the setting of Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. They constitute a kind of ideal, against whichExpand
Men of Steel? Rorschach, Theweleit, and Watchmen's Deconstructed Masculinity
  • M. Miettinen
  • Political Science
  • PS: Political Science & Politics
  • 2013
Watchmen (1987), written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons, is a 12-part graphic novel that portrays real-life superheroes in a fictional United States of the 1980s. An alternate universeExpand
Discursive Construction of New Female Identity in Latest Hollywood Blockbuster Movies
This study analyses the emergence of female portrayal in latest Hollywood superhero movies, after the #MeToo global movement about awareness of sexual harassment. This research adopts a qualitativeExpand
What do we do now? Examining civilian masculinity/ies in contemporary liberal civil-military relations
  • K. Millar
  • Sociology
  • Review of International Studies
  • 2018
Abstract In contemporary Western, liberal democratic societies, the soldier is frequently regarded as ‘the best of us’, taking on the unlimited liability for the protection and betterment of theExpand
A Few Bad Friends: Dynamics of Male Dominance and Failure of Masculine Bonding in David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross
Abstract David Mamet is often considered as the quintessential dramatist of American urban life whose stage is peopled exclusively, and at times questionably, with men. Glengarry Glen Ross is theExpand
Men, masculinities and firefighting: Occupational identity, shop-floor culture and organisational change
As an occupation, firefighting is replete with images of maleness operating around a series of highly masculinised codes and values most notably comprising: risk/danger, heroism,Expand


The Manly Eunuch: Masculinity, Gender Ambiguity, and Christian Ideology in Late Antiquity
This text re-visits the Roman Empire during the 3rd and 5th centuries of the common era to look at the question of masculinity as a part of intellectual life and the development of Christian societyExpand
t has become something of a truism to state that the concept of ‘masculinities’ assumed, during the 1990s, an increasing visibility, prominence and political significance both within (and beyond) theExpand
The Idiocy of American Studies: Poststructuralism, Language, and Politics in the Age of Self-Fulfilment
A COMBUSTION OF THEORETICAL AND POLITICAL CONTROVERSY HAS ALways fueled the development of American Studies. In the halcyon days of the discipline in the 1950s, the pressures of cold war nationalismExpand
Heroes, villains and fools, as agents of social control.
SOCIAL types comprise a relatively unappreciated field of popular culture. Though certain ones have been intensively studied from special points of view and the role of stereotypes has been longExpand
Personal heroes, religion, and transcendental metanarratives
With the increased sociological interest in popular culture, many studies have examined the hero types lauded by the media from situation comedies to movies, books, and magazines. Few studies,Expand
The Postmodern Condition
I define postmodern as incredulity toward metanarratives. This incredulity is undoubtedly a product of progress in the sciences: But that progress in turn presupposes it. To the obsolescence of theExpand
Heroes, Rogues, and Lovers: Testosterone and Behavior
Since the early 1970s, when studies of testosterone first gained wide public attention, this principal male sex hormone has taken the rap for a range of characteristics or behaviors, including lowExpand
The masculinities reader
Acknowledgements. Publishera s Note. The Sociology of Masculinity: Stephen Whitehead and Frank Barrett. Part I: Defining and Locating Masculinities:. Introduction. 1. The Social Organisation ofExpand
The potential relevances of biology to social inquiry
▪ Abstract Sociologists often react with hostility to explanations that evoke biology, and some critics of the discipline contend that this “biophobia” undermines the credibility of sociology andExpand
Postmodernity and Historical Reputation: Abraham Lincoln in Late Twentieth-Century American Memory
Postmodernity has eroded America's metanarrative - the myth that answers ultimate questions about national origin, purpose, and fate. I explore this claim by tracing America's grandest narrative -Expand