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Social Science Gender Studies

He Thinks He's Down

White Appropriations of Black Masculinities in the Civil Rights Era

by (author) Katharine Bausch

UBC Press
Initial publish date
Jun 2020
Gender Studies, African American Studies, Civil War Period (1850-1877), Discrimination & Race Relations
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2020
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jun 2020
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2021
    List Price

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The end of the Second World War saw a “crisis of white masculinity” brought on by social change. As a result, several prominent white male pop culture figures sought out and appropriated African American cultural trappings to benefit from what they believed were powerful Black masculinities. In He Thinks He’s Down, Katharine Bausch draws on case studies from three genres – the writings of Norman Mailer and Jack Kerouac, advertising and aesthetics in Playboy magazine, and action narratives of Blaxploitation films – to illustrate how each one engaged with Black tropes while simultaneously doing little to change the racial and gendered stereotypes that perpetuated the power of white male privilege.

About the author

Contributor Notes

Katharine Bausch is an award-winning instructor in the Pauline Jewett Institute of Gender and Women’s Studies at Carleton University in Ottawa. She has published several articles on the relationships between gender, race, sexuality, popular culture, and history, including on the subjects of appropriation, film, and Hip-Hop.

Editorial Reviews

Bausch asks important and intriguing questions regarding white masculinity and Black men in the postwar era.