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How to be a man: Masculinity in Australian teen culture and American teen movies

Journal Article


Abstract


  • This paper examines the reception of American teen films by Australian audiences in the 1950s, focusing specifically on issues of masculinity and sexuality. Using material gathered from sources such as oral history interviews, autobiographical writing and Australian media reports, an attempt is made to locate the films as one element in a developing local culture based more on age than nationality. The paper argues that, screened within the context of a society which defined masculine behaviour in the light of the ideals of war, a range of popular American films and their stars acted to complicate the idea of what it meant to be male. Audiences were offered new, or at least more ambiguous, notions of gender and sexuality. These changes caused concern among some Australian adults, as they watched the teenage boys of the nation learn how to be men.

Publication Date


  • 2009

Citation


  • McKinnon, S. (2009). How to be a man: Masculinity in Australian teen culture and American teen movies. Media International Australia, (131), 127-135. doi:10.1177/1329878x0913100114

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-80053514766

Start Page


  • 127

End Page


  • 135

Volume


Issue


  • 131

Place Of Publication


Abstract


  • This paper examines the reception of American teen films by Australian audiences in the 1950s, focusing specifically on issues of masculinity and sexuality. Using material gathered from sources such as oral history interviews, autobiographical writing and Australian media reports, an attempt is made to locate the films as one element in a developing local culture based more on age than nationality. The paper argues that, screened within the context of a society which defined masculine behaviour in the light of the ideals of war, a range of popular American films and their stars acted to complicate the idea of what it meant to be male. Audiences were offered new, or at least more ambiguous, notions of gender and sexuality. These changes caused concern among some Australian adults, as they watched the teenage boys of the nation learn how to be men.

Publication Date


  • 2009

Citation


  • McKinnon, S. (2009). How to be a man: Masculinity in Australian teen culture and American teen movies. Media International Australia, (131), 127-135. doi:10.1177/1329878x0913100114

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-80053514766

Start Page


  • 127

End Page


  • 135

Volume


Issue


  • 131

Place Of Publication