Recent years have seen a rise in the popularity and quantity of ’quality’ television programs, many of which featuring complicated versions of masculinity that are informed not only by the women’s movement of the sixties and seventies, but also by several decades of backlash and debate about the effects of women’s equality on men, masculinity, and the relationship between men and women. Drawing upon studies of contemporary television programs, including popular series viewed internationally such as Mad Men, The League, Hung, Breaking Bad, Louie, and Girls, this book explores the ways in which popular cultural texts address widely circulating discourses of the ostensible ’crisis of masculinity’ in contemporary culture. A rich study of masculinity and its representation in contemporary television, Masculinity in Contemporary Quality Television will appeal to scholars and students of cultural and media studies, popular culture, television studies and cultural sociology with interests in gender, masculinities, and sexuality.
’Want to understand the culture of masculinity in the 21st century US? Michael Mario Albrecht shines a new light on some of today’s most compelling television series by illuminating the connections between popular male characters and the social and political landscape within which they emerge. A much-needed book in the study of gender, media, and contemporary culture.’ Elana Levine, University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, USA ’Michael Mario Albrecht adds a crucial, critical voice to contemporary discussions about Quality� television. His careful and illuminating exploration of male-centered television series in the twenty-first century shows how their characters are caught between feminism and post-feminism, between new and old forms of masculinity, much like the men who enjoy the series. His sharp and pithy analysis carries substantial intellectual heft, while his highly readable prose makes this an excellent text for students of gender and culture at all levels.’ Timothy Havens, University of Iowa, USA