PhD. WORK – READING AND CURATING MEDIA REPRESENTATIONS OF MASCULINITY
‘Reading and Curating Media Representations of Masculinity: A Study of Advertising in Men’s Lifestyle Magazines and Middle Class Men in Barbados’ is a Feminist Media Studies project that provides an analysis of Caribbean masculinity, of representations of masculinity in Euro-American men’s lifestyle magazines and on new creative research practices for engaging local audiences on globally circulated media representations. The study extends the research on Caribbean Gender and Media Studies. The research examines the representations of masculinity available in the media and the ways that Caribbean middle class men understand masculinity in relation to media representations.
I argue that men’s lifestyle magazines circulate a consumer oriented concept of masculinity that shifts traditional constructs. In these representations notions of power and wealth, which are historical signifiers of ideal masculinity are juxtaposed with consumption and leisure as important signifiers of hegemonic masculinity. I also argue that Caribbean men engage in complex negotiations of masculinity that draw heavily from the media and that weave privileged rhetorics with pockets of negotiation.
I offer creative visual research as a methodological approach that allows the participants to use media to think about media and the art gallery as research space that rethinks traditional interpretive practices. In the work, I am both Feminist Media Scholar and Curator. I am actively creating and rethinking the research space and my relationship with the participants. I use a ‘Feminist Postcolonial approach to Communication’ to centre issues of power through out the research. In considering issues of power, I conceptualise the audience in a way that balances the influence of media exposure with the ability of the audience to reinterpret, filter out or subvert messages using everyday experiences.