Thursday, March 8, 2012

Dirty Jobs in Masculinity

In Carroll's article the main discussion is on the idealism of the blue collar lifestyle. Carroll uses the example of American Chopper a show about supposedly blue collar men who make custom made motorcycles. Carroll argues that motorcycles, rebelliousness, blue collar jobs and patriotism are all linked. This show seems to be glorifying blue collar jobs when in fact that does not reflect what is going on in society, as blue collar jobs are at a downfall. The conundrum of the show itself is that these men are no long blue collar men, they have tons of money by custom making bikes for different companies and offering them advantageous product placement. This show may have begun invoking the blue collar worker and patriotism but in the end it only reflects the success of successful business men who are now celebrities.

This show exemplifies stereotypical masculinity by reflecting physical labor but in reality the blue collar images is being overrun by the white collar reality of the successful businessmen of the show. An example that reflects this ideal is Dirty Jobs. The host of the show finds the dirtiest jobs all over America and spends some time doing those jobs. In the show he seems to be reflecting white collar society by spending a day in their lives doing physical labor. This seems to reiterate typical masculinity by showing phsycial labor but the truth of the show is that the host is a celebrity who is making white collar wages. This makes the idea of the classic blue collar worker ineffective since the representations of it are done by white collar men. This changes the idea of masculinity by virtually destroying the image of the blue collar patriot and replacing it with the people who impersonate that masculinity on a white collar budget.

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