Fashion and Masculinities in Popular Culture  book cover
1st Edition

Fashion and Masculinities in Popular Culture

ISBN 9780367333188
Published April 15, 2019 by Routledge
194 Pages

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Book Description

Popular culture in the latter half of the twentieth century precipitated a decisive change in style and body image. Postwar film, television, radio shows, pulp fiction and comics placed heroic types firmly within public consciousness. This book concentrates on these heroic male types as they have evolved from the postwar era and their relationship to fashion to the present day. As well as demonstrating the role of male icons in contemporary society, this book’s originality also lies in showing the many gender slippages that these icons help to effect or expose. It is by exploring the somewhat inviolate types accorded to contemporary masculinity that we see the very fragility of a stable or rounded male identity.

Table of Contents


1. Vampire Dandies

1.1 The Dandy

1.2 The "Crisis of Masculinity"

1.3 Metrosexuality and the Cult of Self

1.4 The vampire of Capital and Commodity

1.5 Queer Vampire Masculinities

2. Playboys

2.1 Commodified Masculinities

2.2 On the Virtues of Bachelorhood

2.3 The Bachelor Pad, or the Sexual Lair

2.4 James Bond 007

2.5 Fashioning 007

3. Hipsters

3.1 The White Negro

3.2 Hipster vs Beatnik

3.3 Hipster Style

4. Sailors

4.1 Men in Uniform

4.2 The Seepage of Sailor into Life and Lore

4.4 Sailors Big and Small

4.5 Disciplined but Naughty Boys

4.6 Bell Bottoms and Fly Fronts

4.7 Sailor Chic. From Boardwalk to Catwalk.

5. Cowboys and Bushmen

5.1 Unknown Frontiers

5.2 Celluloid Cowboys

5.3 The Australian Bushman

5.4 Bushwear for Bushmen

6. Leather Men

6.1 Reel Men

6.2 The Black Leather Motorcycle Jacket

6.3 Leathermen

6.4 Men of Rock

6.5 Greesers and Punks

7. Superheroes

7.1 The Origin Stories

7.2 Masked Masculinity and the Phallic Hero

7.3 The Costume, or the Superheros Struggle with Fashion

7.4 The Fabric of Superheroes

7.5 Everyone’s a Superhero. Role-Play and Cosplay

7.6 Who Does Batman Bat for?

8. Gangstas

8.1 "Ghettocentricity" and Street Cred

8.2 Early Gangsta Style. Pachucos and the Zoot Suit

8.3 Leave Political Correctness at the Door. Gangsta’s Paradise

8.4 The Tyranny of Masculinity

8.5 White Gangstas


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Adam Geczy is Senior Lecturer and Chair of the Faculty Board of Sydney College of the Arts, University of Sydney, Australia.

Vicki Karaminas is Professor of Fashion and Deputy Director of Doctoral Research at the College of Creative Arts, Massey University, New Zealand.


"This book makes an invaluable contribution to the rapidly emerging field of masculinity and gender studies by providing innovative, critical insights into the impact of historic and contemporary popular culture icons and archetypes on the formation and expression of male identity and multiple masculinities. This engaging exploration of the origins and existence of contemporary male icons from vampires and hipsters to Barbie’s Ken, exposes the socio-cultural contradictions that they espouse in their representation of dynamic masculinities. Finally we have a book that will spark lively interactions in the classroom and nuanced debates in future scholarship." -- Anne Peirson-Smith, City University of Hong Kong