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Manliness in Britain, 1760-1900Bodies, Emotion, and Material Culture$
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Joanne Begiato

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781526128577

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7765/9781526128584

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The measure of a man: an epilogue

The measure of a man: an epilogue

(p.203) The measure of a man: an epilogue
Manliness in Britain, 1760-1900

Joanne Begiato

Manchester University Press

This epilogue explores the continued resonances of emotionalised bodies and material culture for contemporary masculinities. It considers men’s ‘spectacular bodies’ in entertainment and advertising, along with their more sinister political associations and uses. Then it explores the imaginative conjunction of emotions, bodies, and material culture in formulations of military masculinity in recruitment drives, in the romanticised and politicised tropes of servicemen’s damaged bodies and minds, and in the creative projects seeking to materialise military men’s experiences. It shows how changed forms of male work, as well as unemployment, retirement, illness, and, more recently, paternal caring roles, are now configured through men’s uneasy presence in the home: an arena in which manhood is still presumed to be undermined or compromised. Finally, it shows how the emotionalised working-class male body has changed as radically as notions of class itself in the post-industrial economy of British society. There are no noble images of working-class men at their labours. Most images of working-class men are derogatory, whether they are perceived as a dangerous political threat or a redundant, residual form of masculinity. It concludes that the culture wars of late capitalism are fought over men’s bodies and emotions. (194 words)

Keywords:   Masculinities, Bodies, Emotions, Material culture, Spectacular bodies, Male work, Military masculinity, Working-class men, Culture wars, Home

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