Author/Editor:

Lehtonen, Mikko
Title:Little Giants. The Cultural Constructing of Masculinity. Pikku jättiläisiä. Maskuliinisuuden kulttuurinen rakentuminen.
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Category:Other Publications
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Pages:
Date:1995
Publisher:Vastapaino
Place:Tampere
Type:Published works
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No electronic version available.

Abstract:
      Mikko Lehtonen's book consists of five approaches to different cultural products and phenomena. The framework consists broadly of social constructionism, psychoanalyses and critical studies on men, but the viewpoint and selection of analysed texts is also based on Lehtonen's autobiographical experiences. One of the main themes is - as in Aatamin puvussa (1995) edited by Lehtonen - Anthony Easthope's idea of man as a guarded fortress. As in the case of fortress, the structure of masculinity is constructed to control threats from inside and outside.

      In first of the five analytic approaches Lehtonen reads Jules Verne's novel Nautilus (1869) as captain Nemo's failing effort to be unbreakable phallos. Masculinity and Finnishness are intermingled in Sakari Topelius's Maamme kirja (The Book of Our Land, 1875), which according to Lehtonen has - being read in schools - educated many generations of Finnish citizens through the values of hard work, self-discipline, bravery, honor and freedom. In the third chapter the public image of a right-wing politician Ilkka Kanerva is analysed as an intersection of many culturally recognised ways of being a real man, that is, a true masculine in state politics, in sports and in sexual life. The two last chapters deal with the male identity-crisis seen through the absurd comedies - TV-series and movies - of the Monty Python group and the critique of hegemonic masculinity in Federico Fellini's film Naisten kaupunki (La Cittá delle Donne, 1980).
Last Modified: 15.04.2002