Drawing on methodologies and approaches from media and cultural studies, sociology, social history and the study of popular music, this book outlines the development of the study of men and masculinities, and explores the role of cultural texts in bringing about social change. It is against this backdrop that The Beatles, as a cultural phenomenon, are set, and their four live action films, spanning the years 1964-1970, are examined as texts through which to read changing representations of men and masculinity in 'the Sixties'. Dr Martin King considers ideas about a male revolt predating second-wave feminism, The Beatles as inheritors of the possibilities of the 1950s and The Beatles' emergence as men of ideas: a global cultural phenomenon that transgressed boundaries and changed expectations about the role of popular artists in society. King further explores the chosen Beatle texts to examine discourses of masculinity at work within them. What emerges is the discovery of discourses around resistance, non-conformity, feminized appearance, pre-metrosexuality, the male star as object of desire, and the emergence of The Beatles themselves as a text that reflected the radical diversity of a period of rapid social change. King draws valuable conclusions about the legacy of these discourses and their impact in subsequent decades.
'Men, Masculinities and the Beatles is a good starting point for anyone with an interest in the role played by popular musicians in the 1960s in British popular culture, and a valuable contribution to the growing literature on the Beatles, particularly where their films are concerned'. Popular Music
Popular musicology embraces the field of musicological study that engages with popular forms of music, especially music associated with commerce, entertainment and leisure activities. The Ashgate Popular and Folk Music Series aims to present the best research in this field. Authors are concerned with criticism and analysis of the music itself, as well as locating musical practices, values and meanings in cultural context. The focus of the series is on popular music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with a remit to encompass the entirety of the world’s popular music.
Critical and analytical tools employed in the study of popular music are being continually developed and refined in the twenty-first century. Perspectives on the transcultural and intercultural uses of popular music have enriched understanding of social context, reception and subject position. Popular genres as distinct as reggae, township, bhangra, and flamenco are features of a shrinking, transnational world. The series recognizes and addresses the emergence of mixed genres and new global fusions, and utilizes a wide range of theoretical models drawn from anthropology, sociology, psychoanalysis, media studies, semiotics, postcolonial studies, feminism, gender studies and queer studies.