Date of Award:

5-2021

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Languages, Philosophy and Communication Studies

Committee Chair(s)

Jennifer Peeples

Committee

Jennifer Peeples

Committee

Mollie Murphy

Committee

Doris McGonagill

Abstract

In 2019, the movie Jojo Rabbit (Waititi, 2019) was released to theaters. Because the film uses comedy and satire to tell a story about Jojo, a young Nazi who has Hitler as an imaginary friend, it received mix reviews. This analysis focuses on how the movie sheds light on the negative influence of hegemonic masculinity. Hegemonic masculinity refers to the messages and actions that place men above women or types of masculinity above femininity and other masculinities. Jojo’s desire to be a Nazi is deeply connected to his desire to be man. This analysis examines how hegemonic masculinity a) can limit the definition of manhood in negative ways b) pressures men and boys to prove or defend their manhood, and c) influences how boys and men use violence, threats, and public humiliation to police each one another’s masculinity. By understanding the film in this way, we can better understand how messages of hegemonic masculinity support extremist beliefs like white supremacy and neo-Nazism. We can also see how beliefs about male superiority harm everyone, even boys and men.

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Communication Commons

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