Basic Instincts, Violence and Sex-Driven Creatures: New Argentine Masculinity or Old 'Macho' Culture?
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In the past two decades, Argentina has staged two particular hyperbolized notions of masculinity, both coming from the top of the power structure. These were mainly represented by two presidential figures that impacted on the cultural production of the country. In the time-span ranging from 1989 to 2010, a precise shift developed from a vain and hedonistic masculinity of Dr. Menem's playboy behavior to a more confrontational and aggressive style under Dr. Kirchner's Administration. Undoubtedly, this transformation has had rhetorical effects in the representation of masculinity in the most recent popular culture production (literary fiction and television dramas). The way the Argentine media broadcasted these changes and contributed to the development of "cultural fictions" is particularly striking. In the field of popular culture, this phenomenon is accompanied by two specific rhetorical devices: repetition and hyperbole. Both figures of speech have caused discursive hyperinflation in the fictional domain. They have increased and expanded discourse exposing a distinctive male gaze. In short, repetitive and hyperbolic discourse linked different elements of culture in innovative ways, revealing -in its dynamics- not only an explicit and deceptive masking of reality and levels of uncertainty, but also particular consumption patterns. By drawing attention to specific cases of investigative journalism about gender violence against women, within the theoretical findings of Silverstone, van Dijk, Alabarces and Svampa, this work analyses the effects that this male gaze has provoked in Argentine popular cultural production, particularly in the areas of literature and television dramas.
Modern Argentine Masculinities
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Culture, Gender, Sexuality