Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Hypermasculinity, Twitter and #MAGA

Professor Angela Smith has recently given a paper at the 'Approaches to Discourse' conference at Georgetown University (Washington DC). She spoke on the concept of hypermasculinity, which was first theorised in the early 1980s. At that time masculinity was often perceived as being under threat from the great advances in gender equality made following the arrival of Second Wave Feminism.  Angela argued that in the last five years we have seen a rise in the performance of hypermasculinity on the national stage, often aligned with right wing politics and a heightened sense of national identity in face of a perceived over-reaching of liberalism.  Angela's paper explored how some politicians use social media to promote their messages, side-stepping the otherwise regulating voice of the mainstream media. She looked at tweets from the personal account of Donald Trump to offer an explanation for at least part of the appeal of the ‘Make America Great Again’ hashtag, and argued that resurgent hypermasculinity can be used to explore such data.


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