80’s – Traditional Masculine jobs (factories, heavy Industry), which required strength declined and the economy began to rely on the Service Industry. Skills such as communication and co-operation became more important. Feminine traits held more value in the Workplace.
Man is in crisis as previous binary opposites are becoming blurred.
Sawyer (Josh Holloway) offers male reader a figure of identification/aspiration; rugged bad boy; rebel; ladies man;
Mid-shot used to emphasise upper body & torso emphasises his idealised muscular physique;
Black & White – image becomes less sexual and more medical/muscular
Use masculine language – FIGHT fat- alludes to male physical strength
The 'new man'; interested in appearance, body image, grooming, pleasing women
Adheres to traditional/stereotypical notions of maleness: power, strength, physical function
Media Criticisms of the New Man: American Psycho
Criticises the ‘new man’ as a construct of consumerist society –
Argues that the ‘new man’ has lost touch with his masculine ‘core’
Films depicts mens’ frustration at the media’s ‘feminisation’ of men
Mans obsession with consumerism has replaced traditional male symbols: strength, honour
Clip: American Psycho Patrick Bateman is the literal embodiment of the ‘New Man’. He is almost a stereotypeed over exaggeration constructed to highlight the changing society of the 80’s. In what ways does this clip represent the represent the ‘New Man’? Consider the mise en scene throughout. How is he represented as consumerist, and living in a false consciousness.
Minimal, Clinical, Cold, Regimented, Sleek, Professional apartment; Blank, no individuality, one of the same; Piano music signifies pseudo sophistication – All surface; no depth Narcissistic Narration; resembles a beauty advertisement/tutorial video
Reflection & the ‘Les Mis’ poster – A feminine interest in the arts/musicals; Les Mis image used is THE iconic image again reflecting a ‘pseudo’ personality of no real depth
Tearing away the process (New Man) to reveal the primal (Real Man); a transparent mask – hiding something? Nothing underneath?
The classic ‘New Man’ body –homo erotic, hairless, idealised, muscular spectacle from consumer culture (Eye mask – the villains disguise?)
Homework: In what ways does American Psycho represent the consumerist society of the 80’s and beyond? (500 words)