'What's wrong with being sexy?' The production of gender and the audience at men's lifestyle magazines in Australia.
Janine Marianne MIKOSZA (2007). 'What's wrong with being sexy?' The production of gender and the audience at men's lifestyle magazines in Australia.PhD Thesis, School of Social Science, The University of Queensland.
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Ralph and FHM are ‘blokey’ magazines, with an emphasis on pictures of women and sex, targeting the ‘average’ young, heterosexual Australian man. Influenced by British ‘new lad’ magazines such as loaded and FHM (UK), they sell a masculine self¬identity that involves boozing, cruising for women, sport, fashion, grooming, health and a sense of humour. The analysis presented in this study is based upon in-depth interviews conducted with editorial staff at Ralph and FHM, as well as textual analysis. While the question of gender has featured in many studies of media consumption, this study seeks to highlight the myriad and unexpected ways it is produced and reproduced by media workers in the creation or imagining of an audience. Magazines are marketed by strict gender segregation, and an analysis of how media workers construct an audience is required to acknowledge and understand how particular gender discourses are reproduced, maintained and challenged in the media. The research question directing this study is: how do media workers create and understand representations of gender in men’s lifestyle magazines? This question is framed by the ways a gendered audience is constructed, imagined and negotiated by editorial staff working at Ralph and FHM.