An Analysis of Representation of Masculinity

These magazines are the February 201 1 edition of Kerning and the March 008 edition of NAME, separated by three years to also compare if concepts have changed over the years, I will closely analyses the message these magazines send out to both men and women and how it effects them both, whether it gives them expectations of what to expect in a man or it gives them aspirations to achieve the goal of what these messages put across. As said in the Boys to Men: Media Messages about Masculinity ‘the media’s portrayal of men tends to reinforce men’s social dominance. ‘ The concept of masculinity has been around for hundreds of years.

There have been many tidies and theories that have derived from this idea of masculinity and recently these theories have been applied to music as a link to masculinity. ‘Fraud’s concept of placements is embodied in Rock Music as the guitar can be seen to be phallic symbol, a symbol of dominance and power,’ something that men of today, and centuries before today have strives to have. In 1 999, Children Now, a California-based organization that examines the impact of media on children and youth, released a report entitled Boys to Men: Media Messages about Masculinity.

The report argues that the media’s arterial of men tends to reinforce men’s social dominance. The report observes that: * the majority of male characters in media are heterosexual * male characters are more often associated with the public sphere of work, rather than the private sphere of the home, and issues and problems related to work are more significant than personal issues * Non-white male characters are more likely to experience personal problems and are more likely to use physical aggression or violence to solve those problems.

In 1 952 NAME was released and became the most influential music magazine in the UK veering Indies/rock music. The magazine is known today as one of the top grossing magazines in the country being constant competition for the other music magazines published. Just like every other magazine, the front cover is a vital part of the magazine. It is the first aspect of the magazine readers will see so therefore must capture the characteristics people look for in magazines to ensure purchase.

NAME covers, feature the same ideologies each week; a popular artist or group (usually male), the color scheme red, black and white (unless it is a special edition, in which case the color scheme will elate to the main article or the theme of the issue) and finally the mast head in it well known font style and color. The February 2008 issue cover presents its format in its own individual style in a way to make it a unique magazine. The focus of this issue is the main image of enjoy male artists; they give direct eye contact with the audience looking down at the camera, presenting the idea of them being dominant over the reader.

The men are wearing black clothing, a mysterious and dominant color which creates an image of rebellion and hiding their motives from the world. It is said that Cultural types ? such as the gentleman, the everyday man, or the rebel – are the staple representation of gender in popular fiction because they are easily recognizable and condense a range of important attitudes and values” meaning, that the way magazine producers present the men on their cover determines how their audience will recognize the values and attitudes the producers are trying to portray to them.

The graphics used on the front cover also plays a Vital role in how masculinity is represented in this magazine. First of all, the cover always features the well known and easily cognizable mast head, situated at the top left hand Corner Of the page, in a large, bold, block font. This large and bold text catches the eye of the audience and will therefore be the first thing that people will recognize the magazine by. In addition to this, the strap lines, placed variously around the main image, allow the audience to gain more information about the issue and its content.

An example of this would be ‘Tom Clark VS.. Fairs Rooter’ which grabs the audience’s attention and the fact that the names are of two men gains the appeal of men as they can immediately relate to them. By using the rod VS.’ also gives the impression of fighting and violence, which is known to be a very masculine tendency as it relates to dominance and control, two things men aspire to become. ‘The Marxist concept of hegemonic masculinity States that the man should have; Physical force and control, occupational achievement, familial patriarchy, frontiersman-ship and heterosexuality.

NAME is very powerful and well known in the music industry, especially the ‘Indies genre’ of it, ‘Indies (independent) guitar rock is a post-punk submerge of independent or alternative rock, featuring mainly white, male groups playing mainly electric guitars, bass and drums’ these present what can be seen as stereotypical characteristics of Indies music giving the idea that music is a subject for men. Kerning began publications on 7th June 1981 , as a genre specific magazine aimed at the rise of British heavy metal and other hard rock acts and has continued to today and has become the main competition for NAME.

The layout of Kerning and NAME are fairly similar, and the magazine covers themselves share certain conventions. Similarly to NAME the focus Of the cover is the main image of the lead singer of the group ‘Black Veil Brides’ Andy Barriers, in a close up shot looking directly into the camera to gain eye contact with the audience giving the impression that Hess looking at them personally. His impression is one of disappointment and challenge, an attempt to convince the audience to buy the magazine whilst seeming disappointed by the fact that the audience need to be convinced to buy it rather than automatically buying it.

This challenging expression appeals to men because the idea of challenge encourages them to present their masculinity by accepting the challenge, thus causing them to buy the gagging making it seem as if the publishers of the magazine seem to know how to manipulate their audience. His black leather clothing presents the idea of rebellion and breaking from the rules of society, having the ability to control your own life and have power rather than be controlled and dominated which is exactly what men want, they want a feeling of power and dominance over others to achieve this high level of masculinity.

The graphics used on this cover have the same conventions as the previous magazine, it is eye catching, using contrasting colors and a bold font to stand out grabbing he readers grabbing the readers attention immediately. However, one main convention that does differ is the layout Of the cover lines. Kerning contains a lot more pugs providing extra information and offers available for the reader bringing with them an appeal to the audience at the idea of free posters and chances to win competitions providing the idea of superiority at the possibility of being a winner.

The magazine uses several enigma codes in each strap line as it creates a need to know more invoking the reader to find out more through buying the magazine. This magazine cover is essential to encoding how masculinity is linked and connected to music, especially alternative and rock music as ‘Studies address how masculinity and sexuality are represented in rock performance; both musically and visually. A number of these studies use examples of ‘cook rock’ or heavy metal as these musical styles present clear examples Of male display, employing macho poses and rasping vocals’.

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