Title

Queer Imagery and Codes of Masculinity in 1980s American Beer Advertising

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Campus where you would like to present

Ellensburg

Event Website

https://digitalcommons.cwu.edu/source

Start Date

15-5-2019

End Date

15-5-2019

Abstract

This paper examines the ways that 1980s beer advertisements portrayed men and masculinity, and the expectations for men that these ads communicated through their imagery. In the 1980s, beer advertisements began to focus more on groups of men and their activities rather than individual men simply consuming beer, as was more common in the period between the end of prohibition in 1933 and the late 1970s. Women are also not present in many of these 1980s advertisements, which instead opt to show men enjoying each other’s company in various, often competitive, settings. These advertisements also depict men engaging in nonsexual physical contact, putting forth guidelines for when and how men may touch each other and still maintain their masculinity. Existing scholarship focuses on depictions of masculinity in the beer advertising of other countries, like Canada and New Zealand. I apply historical, sociological, and queer scholarship to American beer advertisements. By applying these types of scholarship to beer advertisements, I will examine the queer undertones present in advertising targeted specifically at men. I utilize advertisements from the period to argue that 1980s beer advertisements communicated a strict code to American men for the ways that they should interact with other men.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Geraldine O'Mahony

Department/Program

History

Henry Jennings CWU_UG Presentation (1).pptx (2713 kB)
Slides for SOURCE 2019 presentation Jennings

Additional Files

Henry Jennings CWU_UG Presentation (1).pptx (2713 kB)
Slides for SOURCE 2019 presentation Jennings

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May 15th, 12:00 AM May 15th, 12:00 AM

Queer Imagery and Codes of Masculinity in 1980s American Beer Advertising

Ellensburg

This paper examines the ways that 1980s beer advertisements portrayed men and masculinity, and the expectations for men that these ads communicated through their imagery. In the 1980s, beer advertisements began to focus more on groups of men and their activities rather than individual men simply consuming beer, as was more common in the period between the end of prohibition in 1933 and the late 1970s. Women are also not present in many of these 1980s advertisements, which instead opt to show men enjoying each other’s company in various, often competitive, settings. These advertisements also depict men engaging in nonsexual physical contact, putting forth guidelines for when and how men may touch each other and still maintain their masculinity. Existing scholarship focuses on depictions of masculinity in the beer advertising of other countries, like Canada and New Zealand. I apply historical, sociological, and queer scholarship to American beer advertisements. By applying these types of scholarship to beer advertisements, I will examine the queer undertones present in advertising targeted specifically at men. I utilize advertisements from the period to argue that 1980s beer advertisements communicated a strict code to American men for the ways that they should interact with other men.

https://digitalcommons.cwu.edu/source/2019/Oralpres/42