This thesis examines the formations of masculinities within the AppleTV+ series Ted Lasso. The series has received critical acclaim, as well as being lauded in pop media as presenting positive forms of masculinity, a growing formation within media products. The research presented here is unique in the study of masculine representation in media, as most focus on exclusively hegemonic masculinity, or look at both masculine and feminine representations. The lack of research such as presented in this thesis creates a niche that could be continued further after this work. Through a textual and visual critical discourse analysis of twelve episodes from the two released seasons of the series, varying representations of masculine gender were discovered. Through the analysis performed, two central themes were produced. The first theme is hegemonic masculinity which focuses on the formation of binary relationships with subordinated people, particularly with subordinated men. This forced binary was formed to ease the process of domination which is crucial to hegemonic structures. The second theme is reconstructed masculinities which focus on groups and egalitarianism with traditionally subordinated peoples. This included the raising up of black characters and the acceptance of platonic male friendships and touch. Textually, the five tools of critical discourse analysis, word connotation, overlexicalization, suppression, structural opposition, and lexical choice and genre, were utilized to locate the underlying messages being distributed. Visually, this thesis focuses on the connotative messaging of visuals, primarily through the three connotators: attribution, setting, and salience. Within this thesis, pronoun usage and lexical choices proved to be most significant textually, while the color palette and character spacing were prominent in the visual analysis. These conclusions were rooted in keystone theories of feminist gender theory, hegemonic masculinity theories, and reconstructed masculinities within sports. The project finds its relevance through the real-world conversations about masculinity and its effects happening within society generally, such as the #MeToo movement, and media specifically, like in commercials that aim to highlight ‘toxic' masculinity. The thesis also focuses on the literature on how meaning is created and spread through the media and back through culture, particularly the works of Hall and Foucault.

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dr. Paris Sébastien Cameron-Gardos
Media, Culture & Society
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication

Patrick Edwards. (2022, June 27). ‘All People are Different People’ An Empirical Analysis of Masculinities in Ted Lasso. Media, Culture & Society. Retrieved from