Popular Culture Review 29.1 (Spring 2018) - Page 118

“just out of reach. It becomes ideological, a goal to strive towards, but not ultimately attainable” (MacKinnon 7). A reoccurring theme in contemporary Golden Age series is that masculinity is fundamentally anxious, as the protagonists must constantly display or prove their masculinity to their peers. However, the majority of these series focus on white protagonists, thus conforming to historical trends regarding racial representation. In contrast, The Wire’s protagonists demonstrate various racial identities and backgrounds, and the series is noted for giving “dignity and a voice to even the most abject of its represented urban individuals” (Shapiro 212). Consequently, multidimensional masculinity theory is the most applicable framework through which to conduct this research. Multidimensional masculinity theory advocates that all masculinity, either traditional or alternative, is influenced by race (Cooper and McGinley 329). This theory is influenced by intersectionality theory, developed by scholar Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw. According to intersectionality theory, when multiple categories of identity overlap, such as race and sex, they produce unique and subjective experiences (Crenshaw 145). Omar demonstrates an intersectional identity in The Wire through his identification as a gay man, which influences his treatment amongst Baltimore’s African American community. Taking into account Omar’s homosexual orientation, this project also correspondingly incorporates queer theory into its framework. Analysis Jimmy McNulty. In The Sopranos and other eminent series of the current Golden Age, hegemonic masculinity is most commonly expressed through aggression, physicality, callous sexual attitudes and other macho characteristics. However, while Tony Soprano and most other contemporary Golden Age protagonists are generally criminals or outlaws, McNulty instead occupies a position of law enforcement, which produces a far more distinct masculine identity. In particular, “white heterosexual middle- and upper-class men who occupy order-giving positions … produce a hegemonic masculinity that is glorified throughout the culture” (Cooper 104). McNulty’s macho masculine identity is characterized by three particular traits: sexual conquest, alcohol abuse, and resistance to authori Kݙ\H\HوH\Y\Xӝ[KH]ܘYK[Y\[\\YZ\[ۙK[Y[][]BX]܈HH\\YۙY ۙHX\X[XK'[\Y]]YVH\Y[܈^8'H \\ H\BHXۚ^Y\X\\XوXXX\[[]KXӝ[x&\œ^X[]]Y\\H[ۛۈ[[ۙ\Y\[B[[[ܙHXN[HXۙX\ۈ\\H8'^H['BLN