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