'What kind of man are you, anyway?' : the masculinities of Coronation Street

Lumby, Philip (2009) 'What kind of man are you, anyway?' : the masculinities of Coronation Street. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

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This thesis explores how masculinity has been represented within British television Coronation Street since 1960 (whereas previous studies of the soap opera genre have primarily focused upon female characters). I adopt a thematic approach to this research, investigating how the series depicts male villainy, sexuality and camp masculinity. I argue that these masculinities are both complex and distinctive within the genre, mainly as a consequence of their positioning within the overtly matriarchal environment of what is traditionally viewed as a feminine genre. There is little from existing studies of the genre to aid an understanding of how these masculinities and associated narratives function. I therefore turn to a range of external generic influences and also consider the impact of regionality and class. Some sense of gender crisis further informs these masculinities and I investigate the charge of misogyny in relation to them. Male villainy is examined in the context of a cinematic influences and I explore the societal concerns that these masculinities are articulating. Their operation within the series can be viewed as challenging the concept of melodrama as a primarily feminine genre. The chapter on masculinity and sexuality considers the representation of heterosexuality as a fragile and unstable concept. By employing queer theory, I argue that non-normative masculinities are commonly more privileged amongst the programme's matriarchy. Camp masculinity (in a heterosexual form) is examined as a subversive practice, informed by male emasculation and class-related anxiety. It commonly has a comedic function, seeking redress from subjugation (unlike its articulation through homosexual masculinity which is seemingly more empowered). I conclude that the series frequently interrogates issues of gender identity, power, performativity and sexuality. This feminist text is an inherently queer space and celebrates diversity and fluidity of expression. Whilst its women are more empowered (and hegemonic masculinity is marginalised), those masculinities that are more distanced from the hegemony are not deprived of their voice.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Jennings, Rosrjennings@glos.ac.ukhttps://www.glos.ac.uk/staff/profile/ros-jennings/
Wilson, Sherrylscwilson@glos.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Additional Information: A print copy of this thesis is available for reference use only.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Masculinity; Male villainy; Male sexuality; Camp masculinity; Coronation Street 1960 to 2009.
Related URLs:
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1992-1992.92 Television Broadcasts
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 21 Feb 2022 14:48
Last Modified: 21 Feb 2022 14:53
URI: https://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/10740

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