Ideologies of masculinity in women’s magazines
a critical stylistic approach
Keywords:Critical Stylistics, Masculinities, Women’s Magazines, Performativity
This article reports on an analysis of ideologies of masculinity in a corpus of women’s magazines from a (feminist) critical stylistic perspective. I identify four core themes of ideologies of masculinity produced via assumed and implied meanings. My discussion of these themes demonstrates how the texts’ constructions of masculinity ultimately uphold gender dichotomies, denying a performative understanding of ‘gender’ in a post-structuralist age. The ideologies discussed have potentially negative implications for female readers, because they serve to maintain notions of gender difference and uphold the power differential between women and men.
Baker, P. (2006) Using Corpora in Discourse Analysis. London: Continuum.
Baker, P. (2008) Sexed Texts: Language, Gender and Sexuality. London: Equinox.
Baker, P. (2014) Using Corpora to Analyze Gender. London: Bloomsbury.
Braithwaite, B. (1995) Women’s Magazines: The First 300 Years. London: Peter Owen.
Butler, J. (1990) Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. London: Routledge.
Cameron, D. (1992) Naming of parts: gender, culture and terms for the penis among American college students. American Speech 67: 367–82. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/455846
Cameron, D. (1997a) Theoretical debates in feminist linguistics: questions of sex and gender. In R. Wodak (ed.) Gender and Discourse 21–36. London: Sage. http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781446250204.n2
Cameron, D. (1997b) Performing gender identity: young men’s talk and the construction of heterosexual masculinity. In S. Johnson and U. H. Meinhoff (eds) Language and Masculinity 47–64. Oxford: Blackwell.
Cameron, D. (2007) The Myth of Mars and Venus: Do Men and Women Really Speak Different Languages? Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Cameron, D. (2010) Gendered behaviour: what can science tell us? Public debate in association with the University of Cambridge Centre for Gender Studies, King’s Place, 23 November. Retrieved on 18 October 2012 from www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/audio/2010/nov/24/gendered-behaviour-science-forum?popup=true.
Christie, C. (2000) Gender and Language: Towards a Feminist Pragmatics. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Doty, A. and Gove, B. (1997) Queer representation in the mass media. In A. Medhurst and S. R. Munt (eds.) Lesbian and Gay Studies: A Critical Introduction 84–98. London: Continuum.
Eggins, S. and Iedema, R. (1997). Difference without diversity: semantic orientation and ideology in competing women’s magazines. In R. Wodak (ed.) Gender and Discourse 165–96. London: Sage. http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781446250204.n8
Fairclough, N. (2001) Language and Power (2nd edn). London: Longman.
Farvid, P. and Braun, V. (2006) ‘Most of us guys are raring to go anytime, anyplace, anywhere’: male and female sexuality in Cleo and Cosmo. Sex Roles 55: 295–310. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11199-006-9084-1
Firminger, K. B. (2006) Is he boyfriend material? Representations of males in teenage girls’ magazines. Men and Masculinities 8: 298–308. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1097184X05282074
Fowler, R. (1991) Language in the News: Discourse and Ideology in the Press. London: Routledge.
Gill, R. (2007) Gender and the Media. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Grice, P. (1975) Logic and conversation. In P. Cole and J. L. Morgan (eds) Syntax and Semantics 3: Speech Acts 41–58. New York: Academic.
Grice, P. (1989) Studies in the Way of Words. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Halliday, M. A. K. (1985) An Introduction to Functional Grammar. London: Arnold.
Hasinoff, A. (2009) It’s sociobiology, hon! Genetic gender determinism in Cosmopolitan magazine. Feminist Media Studies 9: 267–83. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14680770903068233
Hermes, J. (1995) Reading Women’s Magazines: An Analysis of Everyday Media Use. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Hines, C. (1999) Rebaking the pie: the woman as dessert metaphor. In M. Bucholtz, A. C. Liang and L. Sutton (eds) Reinventing Identities: The Gendered Self in Discourse 145–162. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Holloway, W. (1984) Gender difference and the production of subjectivity. In J. Henriques, W. Holloway, C. Urwin, C. Venn and V. Walkerdine (eds) Changing the Subject: Psychology, Social Regulation and Subjectivity 227–339. London: Methuen.
Jamieson, D. (2007) Marketing androgyny: the evolution of the Backstreet Boys. Popular Music 26: 245–58. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0261143007001286
Jeffries, L. (2007) Textual Construction of the Female Body: A Critical Discourse Approach. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/9780230593626
Jeffries, L. (2010) Critical Stylistics. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Jeffries, L. (2014) Critical stylistics: discerning power and ideology in texts. In M. Burke (ed.) The Routledge Handbook of Stylistics 408–20. London: Routledge.
Kehily, M. J. (1999) More sugar? Teenage magazines, gender displays and sexual learning. European Journal of Cultural Studies 2: 65–89. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/136754949900200104
Lakoff, R. T. (1975) Language and Woman’s Place. New York: Harper & Row.
Levinson, S. C. (1983) Pragmatics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Litosseliti, L. (2006) Gender and Language: Theory and Practice. London: Hodder Arnold.
McLoughlin, L. (2008) The construction of female sexuality in the ‘sex special’: transgression or containment in magazines’ information on sexuality for girls? Gender and Language 2: 171–95. http://dx.doi.org/10.1558/genl.v2i2.171
McRobbie, A. (1996) More!: New sexualities in girls’ and women’s magazines. In J. Curran, D. Morley and V. Walkerdine (eds) Cultural Studies and Communications 172–94. London: Arnold.
Ménard, A. and Kleinplatz, P. (2008) Twenty-one moves guaranteed to make his thighs go up in flames: depictions of ‘great sex’ in popular magazines. Sexuality and Culture 12: 1–20. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12119-007-9013-7
Nagel, J. (2003) Race, Ethnicity and Sexuality: Intimate Intersections, Forbidden Frontiers. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
OED Online (undated) Oxford English Dictionary Online. Definitions retrieved in 2013 and 2014 from www.oed.com.
Rayson, P. (2008). From key words to key semantic domains. International Journal of Corpus Linguistics 13: 519–49. http://dx.doi.org/10.1075/ijcl.13.4.06ray
Saussure, F. de (1975) Course in General Linguistics. London: Fontana.
Semino, E. (1997) Language and World Creation in Poems and Other Texts. London: Longman.
Stergiopoulos, G. (2008) Treat Them Mean and Keep Them Keen. London: Random House.
Tannen, D. (1990) You Just Don’t Understand. London: Virago.
Wald, G. (2002) ‘I want it that way’: teenybopper music and the girling of boy bands. Genders 35. Retrieved on 9 October 2015 from www.academia.edu/654238/I_Want_It_That_Way_Teenybopper_Music_and_the_Girling_of_Boy_Bands.
Warner, M. (1993) Fear of a Queer Planet: Queer Politics and Social Theory. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.
Weiss, G. and Wodak, R. (2003) Critical Discourse Analysis: Theory and Interdisciplinarity. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Wodak, R. and Meyer, M. (2009) Critical discourse analysis: history, agenda, theory and methodology. In R. Wodak and M. Meyer (eds) Methods of Critical Discourse Analysis (2nd edn). 1–33. London: Sage.