Uncertain Masculinities

Hyperpolymediation and the Advent of (the) Post-Particular Man among Well-Dressed Men on Instagram

in Journal of Bodies, Sexualities, and Masculinities
Author:
Joshua M. Bluteau Coventry University, UK aa4051@coventry.ac.uk

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Abstract

In an increasingly digitized modernity, traditional societal tropes are vulnerable to rapid and substantial change. Social media platforms such as Instagram allow for digital selves to be constructed in a landscape made up of networks of like-minded individual actors. This article examines how traditional Western notions of masculinity are beginning to change through this enactment of digital relations. Built on 24 months of digital ethnographic fieldwork with sartorially inclined men on Instagram, this article examines how the consumption and production of digital images can alter notions of self, and what this means for those of us who compulsively use social media. This leads to a call for a radical reassessment of masculinity by asking whether the concept of specific forms of masculinity has begun to shatter. If, as this article claims, masculinity has lost specificity in the digital age, then a new type of man has been born: the post-particular man.

Contributor Notes

Joshua M. Bluteau is a Social Anthropologist and Assistant Professor at Coventry University. He formerly held the post of Lecturer at the University of Manchester and completed his PhD at the University of St Andrews. His research focuses on the digital anthropology of social media platforms such as Instagram and the anthropology of clothing and adornment, incorporating analyses of tailored menswear and much-sought-after sartorial objects. His monograph based on fieldwork with bespoke tailors in London and their Instagram followers, entitled Dressing Up, was published in 2022 by Berghahn. Email: aa4051@coventry.ac.uk

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