Rowman and Littlefield International

Work That Body

Male Bodies in Digital Culture

By Jamie Hakim

4 Reviews

This book explores the recent rise in different types of men using digital media to sexualise their bodies. Using four different case studies - the celebrity male nude leak, the 'spornosexual', RuPaul's Drag Race and chemsex - it argues that they do this to live out, negotiate or resist neoliberalism during the post-2008 conjuncture.

Hardback ISBN: 9781786604415 Release date: Oct 2019
£92.00 €112.00 $120.00
Ebook ISBN: 9781786604439 Release date: Oct 2019
£24.95 €34.95 $38.99

Series: Radical Cultural Studies

Pages: 190


Work That Body: Male Bodies in Digital Culture explores the recent rise in different types of men using digital media to sexualise their bodies. It argues that the male body has become a key site in contemporary culture where neoliberalism’s hegemony has been both secured and contested since 2008. It does this by looking at four different case studies: the celebrity male nude leak; the rise of young men sharing images of their muscular bodies on social media; RuPaul's Drag Race body transformational tutorial, and the rise of chemsex. It finds that on the one hand digital media has enabled men to transform their bodies into tools of value-creation in economic contexts where the historical means they have relied on to create value have diminished.

On the other it has also allowed them to use their bodies to form intimate collective bonds during a moment when competitive individualism continued to be the privileged mode of being in the world. It therefore offers a unique contribution not only to the field of digital cultural studies but also to the growing cultural studies literature attempting to map the historical contradictions of the austerity moment.

1. Introduction / 2. The Celebrity Male Nude Leak / 4. The Spornosexual / 5. RuPaul's Drag Race Body Transformation Tutorials / 6. The Rise of Chemsex / 7. Conclusion

Jamie Hakim is a lecturer in media studies at the University of East Anglia. His research interests include popular culture, digital culture, affect, the body, gender, sexuality and practices of intimacy. Prior to his academic career he held different editorial positions at Europe’s leading gay culture magazine Attitude from 2003-2014.

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4 Reviews

Jamie Hakim’s Work that Body: Male Bodies in Digital Culture is destined to become required reading for students of masculinities, sexuality and digital media cultures in the 21st century.

The book challenges commonsensical thinking about what the sexualized male body means and through thoughtful, detailed and perceptive analysis provides a corrective to the unquestioning application of theory derived from critical masculinity studies. It’s rare to read a book where an author genuinely does make a distinctive and novel intervention that so timely as well as relevant across disciplines and fields of study but this is just such an example.

John Mercer, Professor of Gender and Sexuality, Associate Director of Researcher Education and Development, Birmingham City University

Engrossing, original and very smart, this book zooms in on the production of male bodies under neoliberalism without shying away from the affective ambiguities, elusive pleasures and resistant moments that this entails. Moving from celebrity male nude leaks to spornosexuals, to RuPaul’s Drag Race and to chemsex, Work that Body represents contemporary cultural studies at its best.

Susanna Paasonen, Professor of Media Studies at the University of Turku

Firmly rooted in interesting and contemporary cases, Hakim takes us on a sophisticated tour of how neoliberalism’s successes and failures explicitly and implicitly transform us all into digital and/or sexualized bodies for consumption and compensation for the global elite. Using the nuanced methodology of conjunctural analysis, Hakim eloquently traces the historical trajectory of our cultural subjectivities and leaves us with policy implications and hope for the future ... Work that Body: Male Bodies in Digital Culture will be attractive to a variety of multidisciplinary scholars interested in gender, masculinities, sexuality, embodiment, digitality, leisure, and cultural studies.

Corey W. Johnson, Professor, Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, University of Waterloo

In Work that Body Jamie Hakim provides us with an exquisitely written, essential guide for understanding the impact of these neoliberal times on shifting practices of masculinity and intimacy. His account of the paradoxical effects of digitally-mediated sexualised embodiment, especially in the feminization of the male body, is utterly compelling – making this a path-breaking text for all gender and queer scholars.

Lynne Segal, author of "Radical Happiness: Moments of Collective Joy"

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