Postfeminism and Paternity in Contemporary US Film
By Hannah Hamad
Routledge – 2014 – 190 pages
This book interrogates representations of fatherhood across the spectrum of popular U.S. film of the early twenty-first century. It situates them in relation to postfeminist discourse, identifying and discussing dominant paradigms and tropes that emerge from the tendency of popular cinema to configure ideal masculinity in paternal terms. It analyses postfeminist fatherhood across a range of genres including historical epics, war films, westerns, bromantic comedies, male melodramas, action films, family comedies, and others. It also explores recurring themes and intersections such as the rejuvenation of aging masculinities through fatherhood, the paternalized recuperation of immature adult masculinities, the relationship between fatherhood in film and 9/11 culture, post-racial discourse in representations of fatherhood, and historically located formations of fatherhood. It is the first book length study to explore the relationship between fatherhood and postfeminism in popular cinema.
"This book makes a key contribution to contemporary film and media studies, as well as contemporary gender studies, by turning our attention to a particularly prominent trope in filmic representations of masculinity—fatherhood. Because Hamad places these representations within the crucial context of postfeminist culture, recognizing its complex fashioning of gender roles in our historical moment, the book helps us to better understand the appeal and the danger of these powerful discourses." -- Elana Levine, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
"This is an important study bringing together a pair of too often neglected subjects, popular contemporary movies outside the critical canon and the representation of masculinity in those movies." -- Mike Chopra-Gant, London Metropolitan University
1. Fatherhood, Postfeminism and Contemporary Popular Film 2. Paternalizing the Past with Postfeminist Family Values 3. Post-9/11 Fatherhood and the Cultural Logic of Paternal Protectionism 4. Film Stardom and the Paternalization of Aging Masculinity 5. Postfeminist Fatherhood and Immature Adult Masculinty 6. Postfeminist Fatherhood and Post-Racial Discourse 7. Concluding Remarks, Future Directions, and Postfeminist Fatherhood Beyond the Mainstream
Hannah Hamad is Lecturer in Film Studies at King’s College London, UK.