‘That’s what I call a man’

representations of racialised and classed masculinities in the UK print media


  • Paul Baker Lancaster University
  • Erez Levon Queen Mary, University of London




masculinities, Britain, corpus analysis, discourse analysis, hegemonic masculinity, intersectionality


According to Connell (1995), "being a man" involves actively positioning one's self in relation to culturally dominant images of masculinity. Yet, crucially, these images change depending on the social and historical context. In this paper, we examine contemporary discourses of masculinity as they are represented in the British press. In particular, we focus on the ways in which masculine representations are both racialized and classed, and how they are positioned in relation to one another within a broader ideological field of gender and power. Analyses are based on a quantitative and qualitative analysis of a large corpus (35.5 million words) of newspaper articles on masculinity that appeared in the UK between 2003 and 2011. Our findings underscore the importance of adopting an intersectional approach to the study of language and masculinity, and provide support for recent critical re-evaluations of the foundational concept of hegemonic masculinity.

Author Biographies

Paul Baker, Lancaster University

Paul Baker is professor of English language at Lancaster University. His research involves applications of corpus linguistics, and his recent books include Using Corpora to Analyze Gender (2014), Discourse Analysis and Media Attitudes (2013) and Sociolinguistics and Corpus Linguistics (2010). He is the commissioning editor of the journal Corpora.

Erez Levon, Queen Mary, University of London

Erez Levon is senior lecturer in linguistics at Queen Mary University of London. His research interests include sociolinguistics, gender and sexuality studies, and intersectionality, and his recent publications include the volume Language, Sexuality and Power: Studies in Intersectional Sociolinguistics (2015, co-edited with Ronald Mendes) and the book Language and the Politics of Sexuality: Lesbians and Gays in Israel (2010).


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How to Cite

Baker, P., & Levon, E. (2016). ‘That’s what I call a man’: representations of racialised and classed masculinities in the UK print media. Gender and Language, 10(1), 106–139. https://doi.org/10.1558/genl.v10i1.25401