Beyond Boobs and Beer: Analysis of Masculine Rites of Passage in the Film Superbad


  • Jennifer Huemmer Texas Tech University



Representations of “ideal” masculinity and the process of achieving that ideal in Western culture constantly change to reflect the current social standards. This critical case study of the 2007 American comedy film Superbad uses a textual analysis to identify how the film represents emerging masculinity and the process for achieving an “ideal” masculine status. The results indicate that representations of masculinity in Superbad are divided into three categories consistent with Sigmund Freud’s concepts of id, ego and superego. Superbad is consistent with the “myth” of hegemonic masculinity in that white, heterosexual, middle-class men are “ideal” regardless of personality and physical beauty. However, the film diverges from the myth of hegemonic masculinity in its exaggerated representations of hyper-masculine male characters thus positioning stereotypical aggressive depictions of masculinity as an outdated farce


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