Multiple and Unstable Masculinities: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Masculine Identities in Pullout Magazines in Kenya
Ngumo, Mugambi C.
Onyango, James O.
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Many media analysts have pointed out that magazines are an important site for construction of gender. In Kenya, however, most gender studies focus on women, and little critical examination has been done to show how men are represented in the media (Ligaga 2020; Rotich and Byron 2016). This article seeks to fill this gap by analyzing how men are discursively constructed in newspapers’ pullout magazines in Kenya. Using Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) and the social constructionist view of gender, this article critically analyzes five masculine identities that are constructed in these pullout magazines. The article selected four pullout magazines from the two leading newspapers in Kenya: The Nation and The Standard. From these magazines, a total of five articles are examined. The study reveals that socially constructed reality is presented in a largely essentialist manner, through claims of universality, normativity and naturalness. The analysis, in addition, exposes multiple masculine identities which are at times contradictory. The study concludes that this is in keeping with a postmodern view of gender that underlines multiplicity, fluidity, contradiction and instability.