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The Beatles in Help! Re-imagining the Englishman in mid 1960s Britain.

King, MS (2013) The Beatles in Help! Re-imagining the Englishman in mid 1960s Britain. Global Journal of Human Social Sciences, 14. ISSN 0975-587X

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Abstract

This article uses the male cultural phenomenon that is The Beatles as a text through which to examine changing representations of men and masculinities at a particular historical moment, illustrating the ways in which the Beatles’ film Help! (1965) represents the re-imagining of what is meant to be an English man in the mid 1960s, containing, as it does, discourses which challenge notions of masculinity prevalent of the time. Discourses around hair, clothing, physical appearance and style are at work in the text. It also raises questions about ‘establishment’ values and the link between male identity and work which, up to that point, had been central to the male cinematic identity. The text also references ideas around upward mobility prevalent at the time of its production and argues that The Beatles provide a focus for debates around men and masculinity given their global popularity which was partly achieved through the medium of film.

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