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“Where we going Johnny?” Homosociality and the early Beatles


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Existing academic writing about the Beatles and masculinity focuses on them as a mass-mediated phenomenon; there is little discussion of what happened before they were famous. Both Janne Mäkelä (2004) and Martin King (2013) have written cultural histories of the Beatles, dealing with their fame, their cultural context, and to some degree, with masculinity. King argues that the group’s “groomed appearance”, long hair, and “pre-metrosexuality” demonstrate “resistance to formal representations of masculinity” (2013, 62), a monolithic, hegemonic masculinity, for which he references Connell (1987). But Connell observes: “For history to become organic to theory, social structure must be seen as constantly constituted rather than constantly reproduced ... … Groups that hold power do try to reproduce the structure ... … but it is always an open question whether ... … they will succeed” (1987, 44;, italics in original). The resistance model tends to assume the ‘“normality’” or inevitability of hegemonic masculinity, when in fact it is an ongoing operation. Masculinity in this chapter is discussed in terms of interactions within male groups, in terms of what men do and how they relate to each other.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Uncontrolled Keywords: Masculinity, Popular music, John Lennon, The Beatles
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > ML Literature of music
Divisions: Schools > School of Media Arts
Depositing User: Matthew Bannister
Date Deposited: 16 Jun 2017 00:25
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 04:40

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