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It Was 50 Years Ago Today: Reading the Beatles as a Challenge to Discourses of Hegemonic Masculinity

King, MS (2014) It Was 50 Years Ago Today: Reading the Beatles as a Challenge to Discourses of Hegemonic Masculinity. Sociology Study, 4. ISSN 2159-5526

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Abstract

This paper explores the notion of the Beatles as a text through which to explore representations of hegemonic masculinity in “the sixties”. It will argue that the Beatles produced an anti‐hegemonic masculine discourse through a number of aspects of their work, challenging ideas about men and masculinities prevalent at the time of their existence as a working group and beyond. Rooted in the literature on men and masculinities the paper draws together a number of authors’ work and presents ideas from the author’s own work, using discourse analysis of the Beatles’ live action films, based on a framework suggested by Foucault, Van Dijk, Hall, and McKee. An exploration of the ways in which the Beatles challenged and subverted traditional ideas about masculinity and the way in which their global fame provided a vehicle for representations of alternative versions of masculinity is the basis of the resultant discussion.

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