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American Psycho

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by

Matthew Bowen

on 9 January 2013

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Transcript of American Psycho

Important Terms Hegemonic Masculinity Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho Contextualized by
Hegemonic Masculinity's Reaction to Post-Modernity Matthew M. Bowen This project examines the question: what makes 'American Psycho' a significant novel? The thesis I offer is as follows: American Psycho's true significance lies behind post-modernity's distinctly anti-ideological epistemology which destabilizes the tradition of hegemonic masculinity that Bateman epitomizes, and how it is ultimately this destabilization that throws Bateman into crisis, causing him to create violent fantasies targeted against those who would threaten normative masculinity's place at the center of American culture. Post-Modernity "Hegemony...refers to a particular form of dominance in which a ruling class legitimates its position and secures the acceptance--if not outright support--of the classes or archetypes below" -Anderson Post-Modernity Relativism Enables the reappraisal of social structures Bateman, the
Hegemonic Male Bateman is Ellis's version of the epitome of the hegemonic male. As a result, he too becomes destabilized by post-modernity Men Women Homosexuals The Poor All Together What Does it Mean? Ellis uses Bateman as a representation of hegemonic masculinity in the face of post-modernism. He does this so that he can examine the conclusions of the logic behind this social phenomenon and ultimately critique it as a social structure entirely. It is absolutist, unfair to traditionally marginalized groups, violent, and ultimately unstable Implications 'American Psycho's contemporaries failed to adequately grasp the social commentary masked within the novel. It is this commentary that ultimately answers our original question. American Psycho's significance is as a critique of hegemonic masculinity in the face of post-modernity as a social phenomena
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