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|Title:||Phallacies of Modern Masculinity: An Examination of Erectile Dysfunction as a Social Disability|
|Keywords:||English Language and Literature;English Language and Literature|
|Abstract:||<p>This thesis critically evaluates the impact of Viagra's marketing campaigns on social constructions and expectations of masculinity and masculine identities in Western society. Specifically, this project examines the implications of Pfizer's presentation of heteronormative patriarchal figures of male authority in Viagra commercials and print advertisements. In my analysis, I draw on gender theorists Judith Butler and Susan Bordo to clarify how codes of gender are established and policed within Western society. I also draw on the work of disability theorists Rosemarie Garland-Thompson and Thomas Gerschick in order to challenge the categorization of 'normal' bodies and identities. In this thesis, I argue that by distancing sexual functioning from the construction of individual identity, it becomes possible to challenge the social expectations and limitations placed on enactments of gendered sexual identity.<br /><br />In Chapter One, I lay the groundwork for my discussion of erectile dysfunction by examining the body as a site of identity formation and considering theories of gender construction. By critically evaluating the existence and implications of social constructions of 'normal' bodies, it is possible to challenge the ideals of physicality that are so prevalent in Western society. I also consider the way that these ideals are mobilized in advertising in order to transform the 'desirable' body into a profitable body. In Chapter Two, I engage in a careful analysis of the Viagra commercials put out by Pfizer from 1998 to 2005, tracing the evolution of ' desirable' male bodies and identities. I argue that Pfizer's use of increasingly youthful spokesmen is indicative of an attempt to play upon men's anxiety concerning 'normal' sexual performances. My discussion then moves to a consideration of how men with physical disabilities create sexual identities in a society that values normative modes of embodiments and often dismisses alternative sexualities. From here, I argue that by viewing erectile dysfunction as a disability rather than a medical condition, it may be possible to create new definitions of male identity that are not contingent on normative sexual performances, thereby challenging socially validated constructions of 'normal ' gendered sexual identity.</p>|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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