A Qualitative Textual and Comparative Analysis of the Representation of Masculinity in the Action and Romantic Comedy Genres

Gerald James Pascoe 1 *

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This study is an exploration of the representation of masculinity in film, with particular focus on the way in which leading male characters in action genre and romantic comedy genre films represent masculinity. It is posited that masculinity is a construct, the meaning of which is dependent on the social context of the individual. Film as a social artefact and an agent of socialisation could have the potential of influencing individuals’ understanding of the construct. An exploration of the variations of masculinity across genres is a first step in understanding possible influences of the definition of masculinity. A triangulation of textual analysis methods was used to analyse fictional characters according to a set of codes and ‘real’ world norms. The results of the findings from this study indicate that the way in which male characters are developed in each genre are different, with male lead characters from the action genre having more characteristics that align with the ‘real’ world norms of masculinity (Levant et al., 1992), than their romantic comedy genre counterparts.


Film Theory Genre Studies Masculinity Gender Studies Action Genre Romantic Comedy Genre


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article Type: Research Article


Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp. 1-26

Published Online: 15 Jul 2015

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