Representing Men

Representing Men : Cultural Production and Producers in the Men's Magazine Market

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New Lad culture boomed in the 1990s with the publication of mens magazines such as loaded, FHM and Maxim. What were the commercial roots of this boom and what did it say about contemporary masculinity and the dynamics of cultural production? Applying a cultural-economic approach and drawing on interviews with key figures at the sectors leading products, Crewe unwraps the means through which publishing companies comprehended and addressed the mens magazine audience in the 1990s. He argues that it was informal knowledge about cultures of masculinity held by editorial practitioners that was decisive in constituting individual magazines and the overall character of the sector. In exploring the cultural resources, identifications and ambitions around which the market crystallized, Crewe provides an in-depth comparison of the editors and editorial identity of loaded, the pioneer of the mass market, with those of Esquire and Arena, magazines associated with the sectors initial reformation. Clear and comprehensive, this work sheds new light on the commercial assessment and representation of modern masculine culture.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 242 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 14mm | 517g
  • Berg Publishers
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1, black & white illustrations
  • 1859737366
  • 9781859737361

Table of contents

Part I Magazines, masculinity and cultural analysis 1Literature review and conceptual orientation 25 Political economy and productionist paradigms 25 Post-Fordism and cultural economy 30 Cultural work, production and producers 36 Masculinity and the new man 46 The early years of the men's magazine market 54 A cultural economy of the mens press 61 Part II The structure and dynamics of the UK mens press 2 The launches of the mid-1990s 64 The early nineties 65 The launch of loaded 72 The launch of FHM 80 The launch of Maxim 85 The launch of Mens Health 90 The new phase in the men's magazine market 93 Concluding comments 97 3 The logic of market launches 102 The institutional and economic context 104 Launch origins 109 Launch developments 114 Attitudes towards research 118 Summary and concluding comments 122 4 The terms of editorial power 128 i) Publishing structures and the editor-publisher relationship 131 Editing and publishing roles 131 Editors, publishers and organisational structures 136 ii) The methods, dynamics and determinants of editorial production 144 Assessing the reader 144 Editorial capital 153 Advertising imperatives and editorial conflicts, constraints and commitments 163 iii) The negotiation of editorial autonomy171 Selling creativity and the company context174 Market stability and editorial value179 Summary and concluding comments183 Part III Editors and magazines Introduction187 5Men who should know better? The editors of loaded 190 Class, education and mobility191 Masculinity and heterosexuality 199 Occupational identity 205 loaded 216 After loaded 227 Concluding comments236 6Editors in the mens style press239 i) Peter Howarth and Esquire240 Esquire: Man at his best240 Peter Howarths background and career247 Masculinity and heterosexuality251 Occupational identity 255 Howarths Esquire260 ii) Ekow Eshun and Arena 268 Ekow Eshuns background and identity268 Occupational identity 273 Arena: The original magazine for men276 Eshuns Arena279 Concluding comments286 Summary and Conclusion299 Appendix Research background, process and methods320 Bibliography333
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Review quote

'Written in a lucid and genuinely informative style, Crewe's work will make an important contribution to the study of contemporary masculinity. Carefully nuanced [and] always attentive to contradiction - between theory and the lived practices of consumer culture, between different elements in the production process, between the editorial policies of different publications and between the social profiles of the editors.'Professor Frank Mort, University of East London'Opening up the phenomenon of the 'new lad' and his prodigious currency within magazine publishing and the wider media, Crewe offers us a detailed and compelling account of the internal dynamics of the world of 'lad publishing' and the identifications, lifestyles and motivations of its key protagonists. In doing so, he not only brings to life this media phenomenon, but also adds much to our understanding of the dynamics of commercial cultural production and the processes by which business ambition, popular desires and
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About Ben Crewe

Ben Crewe is Research Fellow at the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge
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