Male gossip and language play in the letters pages of men's lifestyle magazines



Benwell B (2001) Male gossip and language play in the letters pages of men's lifestyle magazines. Journal of Popular Culture, 34 (4), pp. 19-33.

First paragraph: Recently the magazine market has witnessed a colossally successful new genre: that of the men's lifestyle magazine, an obvious site of an emergent masculinity since it reflects very self-consciously upon issues of men's identity, the body, and discourse. The market leaders of this genre within the United Kingdom: Loaded, FHM and Maxim, embrace a masculine identity commonly glossed, "New Lad" within the media, which is associated with a return from the more fluid, feminist construction of the '80s "new man" to a more traditional, conservative model of masculinity. This model is however made apparently more palatable by a mischevous knowingness (commonly termed irony) which enables it to survive in a post-feminist era. However imprecise or unstable notions of masculinity may be to the real readers, men's magazines represent an attempt to crystallize masculinity and it is precisely for this reason that men's lifestyle magazines are such rich sources of insight into a hitherto largely invisible modem masculinity.

Journal of Popular Culture: Volume 34, Issue 4

Publication date31/03/2001

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Dr Bethan Benwell

Dr Bethan Benwell

Senior Lecturer, English Studies