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The Man from the Future: Traces of Masculinity and Modernity from Hamilton in the 1960s.

This research offers a reading of the considerable change to the landscapes of cities, masculinities and bodies that occurred after the Second World War. With an emphasis on visual sources and methods, I consider how a distinctly modern post-war identity emerged out of the interaction between Hamilton's newly (re)built cityscape, human bodies and their gendered identities. In the 1960s, rapid urban growth in Hamilton produced a large number of buildings designed in the Modernist style. This concrete language rendered public structures, and the city at large, as distinctly 'Modern' and progressive. The existence of these buildings was essential to Hamilton's transition from a rural town to an urban centre. Meanwhile, the 1964 Centennial served as a convenient narrative of progress to (re)create the city as Modern while remaining youthful and vibrant. Images of the past and the future were regularly and publicly invoked. Colonial Pioneers and Men from the Future were rhetorically exhumed and conceived in order to (re)construct Hamilton. Material and discursive spaces of the cityscape were inhabited by images of a 'citified' Modern Man: the fabled Businessman and his derivatives. Images of masculine bodies offer an insight into constructions of gendered identity. Their 'suited' and impervious bodily boundaries reflect the rigid confines of 1960s masculinities and the firm geometric designs of Modernist buildings. Analysis of advertisements and photographs reveal bodily performances that maintain this identity while establishing an urban and masculine corporeality. A number of 'other' identities were excluded by dominant urban masculinity and offer areas for future research.
Type of thesis
Rule, J. B. (2007). The Man from the Future: Traces of Masculinity and Modernity from Hamilton in the 1960s. (Thesis, Master of Arts (MA)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/2396
The University of Waikato
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