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American Masculinity under Clinton

Popular Media and the Nineties «Crisis of Masculinity»


Brent Malin

Whereas many of the men of Reagan’s ’80s seemed stereotypically hypermasculine, a host of ’90s images suggest a new phase of more sensitive manhood. In the Clinton era, both academic and popular writers suggested that a «crisis of masculinity» had taken root – one that had men questioning traditional male ideas and seeking new identities. This book explores the conflicted ways in which this seemingly new climate of masculinity was negotiated. From Bill Clinton to The Promise Keepers and Titanic to Friends, a host of ’90s heroes put this rhetoric of crisis to work to win elections, audience members, and ratings.