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Cutting, Driving, Digging, and Harvesting: Re-masculinizing the Working-Class Heroic

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posted on 2021-05-21, 15:05 authored by Augie Fleras, Shane Michael Dixon
Television portrayals of working-class males in blue-collar jobs have in the past proven unflattering at best, demeaning at worst. But a new breed of unscripted TV shows articulates a fundamentally different narrative about the unsung heroism of working-class men. This article explores the narratives and images associated with the re-masculinization of blue-collared working-class males as real men in contrast to conventional working-class misrepresentations as persons lacking self control, motivation and commitment. This genre of “macho” male programs constitutes a key ideological tool by which “hegemonic” narratives of conventional masculinity are internalized through the “pleasures of the media.” The authors conclude that, despite the recent valorization of blue-collar values, contributions, and identities, representational distortions and content omissions persist in portraying working class realities.

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