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Marginality, Mayhem and Middle Class Anxieties: Imaginaries of Masculinity and Urban Violence in Contemporary Mexican and Brazilian Film

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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/11190

Marginality, Mayhem and Middle Class Anxieties: Imaginaries of Masculinity and Urban Violence in Contemporary Mexican and Brazilian Film

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Title: Marginality, Mayhem and Middle Class Anxieties: Imaginaries of Masculinity and Urban Violence in Contemporary Mexican and Brazilian Film
Author: Lehnen, Jeremy
Advisor(s): Milleret, Margo
Committee Member(s): Rebolledo, Tey Diana
Wood, Richard
Oliveira, Emanuelle
Department: University of New Mexico. Biology Dept.
Subject(s): Violence
Masculinity
Mexico
Brazil
Film
Spectacle
LC Subject(s): Motion pictures--Brazil--History and criticism
Motion pictures--Mexico--History and criticism
Masculinity in motion pictures
Urban violence in motion pictures
Degree Level: Doctoral
Abstract: <italics>Marginality, Mayhem and Middle Class Anxieties: Imaginaries of Masculinity and Urban Violence in Contemporary Mexican and Brazilian Film</italics> is a comparative study that explores the confluence of cinematic discourse, violence, masculinity and constructions (or denial) of citizenship in present-day Latin America. My argument is that the thematization of violence and masculinity in contemporary Latin American film intercedes at a symbolic level into social relations that are increasingly mediated through images that depict what is socially permitted. This dissertation considers how film (re)structures perceptions of masculinity and its inter-linkages with cityscapes marked by social and material violence. Violence is at the same time the producer and the product of prevailing mediatic representations of social strife. As such, material and symbolic violence generate a spectacle of otherness (socioeconomic, ethnic, gendered) that purports to demarcate the symbolic limits of so-called legitimate society, often employing the peripheral male subject as the axis around which difference is articulated. On the one hand, films such as <italics>Amores perros</italics> (Mexico Iñárritu 2001) and <italics>Cidade de Deus</italics> (Brazil, Meirelles, Lund 2002) utilize paradigms of socio-economic and gender difference to naturalize the perception of the divided city by formulating the body of the peripheral male subject (and the metropolitan zones he inhabits) as a dangerous terrain. On the other hand, other productions, such as <italics>La Zona</italics> (Mexico, Spain, Plá 2007) and <italics>O homem do ano </italics>(Brazil, Fonseca 2004), using similar archetypes, call this vision into question by focusing on how middle class and elite anxieties create practices of violence as modes of social definition.
Graduation Date: July 2010
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1928/11190

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