While Erving Goffman expanded the scope and study of sociology to face-to-face interactions between individuals and small group gatherings, little has been said of the application of those ideas to propaganda on a personal level.  I will argue that Goffman’s study of frame analysis and impression management apply to propaganda of various types that he… Read More


Masculinities can be defined from a myriad of perspectives, and so I reaffirm here what has been an obvious fact of life all along and should probably be a truism, that there are as many definitions of masculinity as there are people populating the planet.  When the traditional cultural definition of masculinity contradicts what someone… Read More


Neil LaBute’s In The Company of Men is described as black comedy.  In some twisted universe, perhaps this is a comedy of a sort, but I see something else, perhaps several things.  This is an exploration of masculinity, yes, but it is also an exploration of stereotypical locker-room, hate-filled testosterone-filled masculinity, one that describes men… Read More


While segregation has been mostly and forcibly eradicated in education, categories of segregation (or queues) have not been eliminated in the work place (Manza, et al: 415).  Primarily in the control of the employers’ and their representatives, they stereotypically categorize women and minorities in various rankings of lesser importance, visualizing the segregation and prejudice as… Read More


Ma Vie En Rose, directed by Alain Berliner, is a Belgium film produced in France.  While this film is obviously in French, the surrounding set design embodies an “American” look and feel for most of the film.  The characters also appear to be atypically “American” in their extreme negative reactions to Ludovic’s realization that he… Read More


Brokeback Mountain, directed by Ang Lee, is a simple and complex love story between two people.   It is simple because it has also been called a straightforward gay love story as well as a bisexual love story.  While those points of view are valid on some level, this is a complex love story, because labeling… Read More


The documentary Murderball, directed by Henry Alex Rubin and Dana Adam Shapiro, is raw, visceral, violent, and beautiful.  It is a story of a multi-dimensional masculinity and humanity told from several points of view.  It embodies the expression, “in your face,” in that neither the filmmakers nor the subjects feel inclined to leave most topics… Read More


Tommy Lee Jones’ The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada begins as a story of honour between close friends and quickly devolves into multiple perspectives of an archetypal quest for masculine redemption and second chances.  For Pete Perkins, the rancher and Melquiades’ best friend, Belmont, the local sheriff, and Norton, the border patrolman, each quest is… Read More


John Crowley’s Boy A tests our perceptions of social acceptance of a boy/young man  (Eric/Jack) in arrested masculine development who has had few opportunities to properly mature outside of a prison/youth detention culture for fifteen years.  Crowley contrasts this vis a vis Jack’s male co-workers and the masculinity of his girlfriend Michelle’s romantic advances as… Read More


From the outset, director Alfonso Cuaron tests and questions collective sexual mores and taboos in Y Tu Mama Tamabien, forcing us to question, forcing us to think, forcing us to reevaluate.  Full frontal nudity confronts us almost before the opening credits have finished.  And given that graphic violence in U.S. media is an accepted norm… Read More