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Mapping Identity and Identification Processes

Approaches from Cultural Studies

Edited By Eduardo de Gregorio-Godeo and Angel Mateos-Aparicio Martin-Albo

This book deals with the subject of identity and identification within contemporary cultural studies and includes a selection of papers from the 14th International ‘Culture & Power’ Conference held in Ciudad Real, Spain, in 2010. The volume contributes to contemporary debates on identity-construction practices from various theoretical positions in different social, historic and national contexts. The initial section presents various theoretical discussions on how identity construction and identification phenomena are framed within current disciplinary debates about cultural studies and its future as an academic inter- and transdisciplinary field of enquiry. In the following sections, identity and identification processes are analysed from a variety of perspectives.
In particular, the articles delve into the construction of marginalised identities and the exploration of identification processes that subvert dominant, established or accepted cultural identities. The authors explore the role of print media and videogames in constructing and representing identities; they examine the construction of masculinities and femininities in film, music and gay liberation movements; they analyse the interplay between globalisation and nationalism and its impact on cultural products in Asia or Africa; and provide examples of cultural history approaches to the articulation of several national identities. Considered together, the chapters engage with the most relevant concerns pervading identity theory and cultural studies today.

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Part III. Gendering Selves in Cultural Products 163

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Part III. Gendering Selves in Cultural Products CHANTAL CORNUT-GENTILLE D’ARCY A Critical Reflection on the Socially-constructed Nature of Gender Identity in The Full Monty and Calendar Girls Let me state, right from the onset, my unease respecting the two films listed in the title: I confess an immediate, intense attachment to the film The Full Monty (Peter Cattaneo, 1997)—a soft-spot that was in no way reawakened when I saw Calendar Girls. Such a reaction surprised me. After all, wasn’t the discreet success of Calendar Girls in part due to its being so evidently a gendered copy of Cattaneo’s 1997 box-office hit? Aren’t both films stories of ordinary men and women affirming themselves in an extraordinary way? Doesn’t the comedy in one and the other film spring from the terror and glee experienced by people who would never normally do a nude act? In a word, this paper represents an attempt to interrogate my own responses to the films while addressing, in Stuart Hall’s words, “central, urgent and disturbing problems of society in the most rigorous intellectual way available” (Hall qtd in Giroux 1999, 253). As will be remembered, The Full Monty was a small-scale, comic study of a few men coping with unemployment while Calendar Girls dramatised a true story about a group of mature women who succeeded in raising money for cancer. Given that much of the humour in both these popular, feel-good English movies revolves around ordinary people working up the nerve to strip off their clothes,...

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