Masculinity and Irish Popular Culture: Tiger’s Tales by Conn Holohan, Tony Tracy

By Conn Holohan, Tony Tracy

Masculinity and Irish pop culture: Tiger's stories is an interdisciplinary number of essays by means of validated and rising students, analysing the moving representations of Irish males throughout more than a few pop culture varieties within the interval of the Celtic Tiger and past.

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I’m back with the boys. 28 There is a characteristic note of defiance about the pleasures offered by gay life and its coterie skills. But there is also a strong urge to securely locate those experiences elsewhere – somewhere he goes briefly before returning to the real core of his life, to what really matters. At first glance, Paul Galvin’s fashion interests offer a much less promising wedge with which to dislodge hegemonic masculinity; fashion is conventionally surface and artifice, while sexuality is depth and truth.

We might also wonder why the images of Galvin as fashion model produced such unease in Kelly’s inner football fan. While confirming the authenticity of the masculinity embodied by Galvin as footballer, might not the stylized artificiality of Galvin the fashionista simultaneously alert us to the equally stylized 24 Masculinity and Irish Popular Culture performance of masculinity on the football pitch? In fact, Galvinised offers striking evidence of the labour and money required to produce the ‘natural’ masculine body on display during a football game.

With the rise of the Celtic Tiger and its championing of a neoliberal economic model and agenda, Irish masculinity became increasingly defined by the acquisition and display of affluence; though still bound up with aggressive risk-taking and bravado, such energies were to be channelled into the pursuit of wealth and the accumulation of consumer goods, through which identity is constructed and affirmed. Constructions and images of gender during and beyond the Celtic Tiger era have been incisively examined by Debbie Ging, who identifies the rise of post-feminist discourse, the growing popularity of bio-determinist discourses on gender and the growth of an increasingly commercialized mediascape as major factors shaping contemporary understandings and constructions of gender in Ireland.

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