Submarine films as narratives of masculinity
The research for this thesis is on representations of masculinity in Anglo-American submarine films since 1943. The discussion will draw on relevant work on the representation of masculinity and popular cinema in film and cultural studies. In particular, the thesis will account for the notion of hegemony in relation to masculinity in the submarine film. Further, the notion of hegemonic masculinity will be addressed in terms of four key claims. These are as follows: that relations between groups are characterised solely by domination and subordination, that a singular hegemonic masculinity prevails at anyone time, that this masculinity is coherent, and that hegemonic masculinity is consistently dominant in relations of power. Through the reading of the films, this thesis will critique the notion of hegemonic masculinity in the following terms: a) the recurrent concern with the group emphasises teamwork and cooperation rather than domination and subordination. Even where these relations operate at the level of fantasy, they can suggest utopian possibilities of mutuality. b) This preoccupation with teamwork shows that the struggle between competing masculinities endorses difference in masculinity, not just a hegemonic masculinity. c) Rather than privileging hegemonic masculinity as coherent, this struggle leads to alliances between masculinities, in which hegemonic masculinity has to negotiate contradictions in masculinity. d) This account of submarine films therefore shows that masculinity involves the complex negotiation of differences and not solely the consistent privileging of hegemonic masculinity. The analysis will be organised into chapters that derive specifically from the following thematic concerns within the case study: nature, the masculine body, men's friendships, rationality, vision and power, ideological processes, and the submarine as masculine space. Through the discussion of these themes and the developments in submarine films, the thesis will show the extent to which representations of masculinity in the case study conform to assumptions about hegemonic masculinity and popular film.