Masculinity in Breaking Bad: Critical Perspectives

Masculinity in Breaking Bad: Critical Perspectives

by Bridget Roussell Cowlishaw

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Following on author Peter Rollins' motto "If it isn't popular, it isn't culture," this collection of new essays considers Vince Gilligan's award-winning television series Breaking Bad as a landmark of Western culture--comparable to the works of Shakespeare and Dickens in their time--that merits scholarly attention from those who would understand early the 21st century zeitgeist. The essayists explore the series as a critique of American concepts of masculinity, with Walter White discussed as a father archetype--provider, protector, author of a legacy--and as a Machiavellian warrior on the capitalist battleground. Other topics include the mutual exclusivity of intellect and masculinity in American culture, and the dramatic irony as White's rationales for his criminal life are gradually revealed as a lie. In "round table" chapters, contributors discuss the show's reception, fans who root for "Team Walt," "Skyler-hating" and Breaking Bad as a feminist text.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781476619910
Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date: 03/14/2015
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 236
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Bridget Roussell Cowlishaw is currently writing as an independent scholar. She lives in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Foreword (Robert G. Weiner) 1
Preface 5
Introduction 9
Family Man: Walter White and the Failure of Fatherhood
(Susan Johnston) 11
Western Men: Breaking Bad’s Outlaws and Family Men
(Ian Dawe) 33
Round Table Discussion: The Phenomenon of “Bad Fans”
and “Team Walt” 53
Intellectual Men: Masculinity Versus Intelligence
(Brian Cowlishaw) 63
Business Men: Breaking Bad’s Best Business Practices
(R. Nicholas Gerlich and Lori Smith Westermann) 88
Machiavellian Men: How Walter White Learns “Not to
Be Good” (Stephanie Stringer Gross) 110
Round Table Discussion: ­Skyler-Hating Online 132
Men of Legacy: Breaking Bad’s Solutions to Mortality
(Ian Dawe) 139
Men in Control: Panopticism and Performance
(Jeffrey Reid Pettis) 162
Round Table Discussion: Is Breaking Bad a Feminist Text? 193
Annotated Bibliography (Bridget Roussell Cowlishaw) 197
Episode List 219
About the Contributors 221
Index 223

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