He's so fine: representations of masculinity in rock and roll culture from 1953-1963



McPhedran, Ian Laing

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University of Guelph


This thesis is an investigation of the roles various groups played in shaping and developing constructions of masculinity in Rock and Roll from 1953-1963 such as fans, opposition movements and those working within the music industry in the United States. Although the relatively louder sound of the music made it an ideal symbol of defiance for teens to assert a separate identity, its lyrical content privileged representations of the interests and lifestyles of the white, middle class. In addition, males and females tended to participate as performers and fans in somewhat dissimilar ways, demonstrating the overall complexity of meaning stemming from the music. By examining the interplay of these groups along with the pressures exerted by the racism and strict ideological conceptualizations of gender held throughout the period, this thesis serves to demonstrate that although aspects of this subculture were rebellious, its representations of masculinity remained conservative throughout the period.



Rock and roll, 1953-1963, Masculinity, Rebellious, Culture