Friday, March 9, 2012

Who said men can't be dramatic -- Men Soaps

Carroll highlights the Men’s Soaps Automotive Television Programming and Contemporary Working-Class Masculinities and does a great job with using American Chopper as a great example. WE can immediately distinguish such working class men, being burly, chizzled, aggressive, innovative, and independent identifying with blue collar. In this clip we quickly see such working class men being defined as masculine.  As America Chopper highlight working class men and reinforce the honor and recognition working class men should have they quickly deter that by having such viewers of the soap operas create a realm of masculine interactions that add to the decoding of masculine and feminine. We see the, “Collapsing the separate spheres of public and private, work and home into pseudo-domestic world of fraternity and labor that is the OCC workshop, American Chopper relocates the franchise of masculinity.”

One of interesting the arguments Carroll presented was the counterculture going mainstream. Contradiction within the message we see of inspiring working class men to accept their occupation in society is essential just as great and cool as playing in the NBA, NFL and major leagues of Baseball. As they show a different man on television by embodying the working class man we also see the set up to have such working class men expose products such as motorcycles as a manly and popular purchase although such motorcycles they present are extremely expensive. We then see this contradiction of empowering working class men by also reminding them of their economic standing and how their goals should be centered on working to pay for such costly products. “The counterculture has gone mainstream; the motorcycle has gone from being a countercultural symbol of dissatisfaction with the traditional values.” We see a blue collared man living the financial life of the white collared business man.

Such white collared approaches do most certainly reinforce masculinity and along with whiteness it can really create a setting where such influences and effects are beyond not empowering working class men to be proud of their position in life. We see such effect in politics. Running across this quick ramification that such highlight in masculinity really draws women away and reinforces a patriarchal society.

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