Buddy films and gender identity : representing the bonds of masculinity /
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The study examines the buddy film genre and the representation of masculinity in relation to the homosocial and the homoerotic. As a genre, the buddy films focus on male relationships, thematically seeking to mediate the boundaries surrounding the homosocial continuum and the intimacy and eroticism implicit in male bonding. Theories of genre, gender and identity are used to analyze the construction of masculine identity within the films. By providing a qualitative analysis of films from the 1960s to contemporary times, the research establishes a relationship between social changes, attitudes toward men and depictions of men. The buddy films adapt to address changes in the representation of masculinity, embodied in the difference between the male couple in the films. The early films of the 1960s served as templates that deconstructed traditional representations of male identity through articulating the tension within homosocial relationships. However, in the later films this tension became a refle~ive convention, acting to undermine the eroticism onto a displaced Other. The buddy film genre highlights the tension inherent to the male masquerade. This tension is situated in the need to represent the protagonist's homosocial relationship, while disavowing the eroticism that surrounds homosocial bonding. The structure of the buddy film genre, which focuses on the exploration of masculinity and representing the bonds of homosocial intimacy, makes these films a significant site for investigating the cultural construction of masculine identities.