Fathering the future: masculine survival and paternal restoration in 1990s Hollywood

Barnett, Katie (2013). Fathering the future: masculine survival and paternal restoration in 1990s Hollywood. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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The 1990s in the United States saw a particular cultural anxiety manifested in the crisis of masculinity, in which American men were perceived to be suffering from a loss of power and diminished authority. As President Clinton heralded a final push towards the millennium and the creation of a better, brighter future for the nation, concerns emerged over the ability of straight, white, middle-class men to access this same future. In this pre-millennial period, fatherhood is presented as the solution to this state of masculine crisis. Hollywood in particular invests in this notion of masculine crisis and the need for rehabilitation through fatherhood, indulging in one of the key tenets of Lee Edelman’s theory of reproductive futurism: that of the future being realised through an investment in the child.

This thesis examines a number of Hollywood films produced between 1989 and 2001, with the aim of demonstrating how fatherhood is persistently constructed as the key to masculine survival during a period of considerable anxiety over the future.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: Department of American and Canadian Studies
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: E History America > E151 United States (General)
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/4488


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