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This article presents political sex scandals as a critical site for understanding contemporary formations of masculinity under conditions of neoliberalism. While media coverage of sex scandals typically revolves around a spectacularized failure of a particular man to live up to an idealized image of masculinity, we contend that sex scandals represent momentary ruptures that lay bare historically specific contradictions of neoliberal masculine subjectivities. These inconsistencies reiterate abiding contradictions in dominant constructions of modern masculinity even as they assume unprecedented forms in today’s technoculture. To make this case, we examine several modern political sex scandals, including those involving Elliot Spitzer, Bob Filner, and Anthony Weiner.


Institute for Social Justice

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Journal Article

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