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Critical evaluation of masculinity represents a relatively new phenomenon in academia for until as recently as the 1970s hegemonic masculinity effectively acted as a normative and indeed culturally specific standard on which all gender studies were based Hearn 204 Consequently defining and analyzing masculinity posits a difficult task that scholars continue to approach from numerous different perspectives While this ongoing debate continues to generate different interpretations of masculinity the study of masculinity usually connotes psychological research on sex-role and Identity a definition which will be utilized henceforth Hearn 202 This study will engage in a normative examination of masculinity one in which the qualities of prominent male protagonists both aesthetic and moral are assumed to be reflective of culturally dominant masculine paradigms This perspective supposes that one must necessarily study masculine heroes the idyllic incarnations of the male psyche in order to isolate culturally dominant masculine modes Salzman 149 The fact that only a small number of actual men end up embodying the paradigms supposed by the subjects of a normative examination necessarily limits this approach On the other hand a nominative approach both provides insight into a wider variety of desirable masculine traits and simplifies the comparison between paradigms of masculinity Magnuson 15 This analytical approach to masculinity draws relies data that suggest portrayals of masculine archetypes in the media not only reflect but also help to create popular ideas about what it is to be masculine Salzman 148Furthermore this study aims to describe two distinct paradigms of masculinity using this nominative approach traditional masculinity and a more modernized interpretation that will be referred to as techno-masculinity For the purposes of this study both incarnations of masculinity are defined as the combination of a specific set of values and a characteristic aesthetic Eric Magnusons noted sociological examination on the Mythopoetic Mens Movement will establish this core set of values for traditional masculinity This movement largely viewed as a reactionary to modern feminism
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