Man’s man: representations of Australian post-war masculinity in Man magazine

Chelsea Barnett*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This article examines the representation of masculinity in Man, a men’s magazine, in post-war Australia. While the notion of the “sleepy 1950s” has implied a period of social conservatism and gender stability, the representation of (and commentary on) men’s social, cultural and familial worlds in Man tells a rather different story. In a period in which Menzies’s breadwinner masculinity idealised work and familial life as the source of men’s satisfaction (and civilised society more broadly), Man positioned its imagined reader as desperately unhappy and frustrated by the confines of suburban life and marriage. There were limits, however, to the generosity of this critique. While trying to provide Australian men with an escape from the rigid confines of hegemonic masculinity, Man remained attached to a near-misogynist attitude to women. The distress and anguish of men, in this case, became another way to restrict the lives and choices of women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-169
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Australian Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2015


  • post-war Australia
  • masculinity
  • Man


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