Ironic Discourse: Evasive Masculinity in British Men's Lifestyle Magazines


Benwell B (2004) Ironic Discourse: Evasive Masculinity in British Men's Lifestyle Magazines. Men and Masculinities, 7 (1), pp. 3-21.;

This article takes as its textual focus the U.K. men’s lifestyle magazine and explores the notion that irony is strategically employed in the partial constitution (and evasion) of a specific masculine identity. It is frequently claimed that irony is a prominent feature of the postmodern condition, with its slippery ability to disclaim allegiances to particularpolitical or critical positions; within the men’s lifestyle magazine, we can see how irony functions both to give voice to reactionary and antifeminist sentiments and to continually destabilize the notion of a coherent and visible masculinity. The article focuses on both irony as a trope and irony as a mode of existence in the pursuit of describing the ambiguity inherent in magazine masculinity, and it engages with close textual and linguistic analysis of a magazine feature and an interview.

masculinity; men’s lifestyle magazines; irony; discourse; “new lad”; consumer culture

Men and Masculinities: Volume 7, Issue 1

Publication date31/07/2004
Publisher URL