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Department of Culture and Language


Medicine Man: Media Assemblages of Medicalized Masculinity

The project explores how everyday cultures and perceptions of middle age men’s bodies unfold when masculinity is increasingly both mediatized and medicalized. Today large parts of intimate life, health and social relations have become mediatized: Bodies are monitored using mobile apps, communities are formed on social media, and intimate questions are increasingly the topic of TV-shows and intensified in online campaigns.

We define middle age as the life period between youth and old age (40 to 65 years) and the project embraces both urban and provincial masculinity as well as heterosexual, homosexual and transgendered men. Medicine Man is based on a theoretical framework of somatechnics and assemblage theory.

The project considers medicalization as a cultural phenomenon, which emerges inseparably from contemporary media, and thus adds humanistic research to health and social sciences about how mediatized culture shapes the body and its medicalized interventions and how notions of beauty, sexuality and health unfolds.

Work Packages

 Medicine Man: Media Assemblages of Medicalized Masculinity consists of different work packages organized under the following three subthemes:

  1.  Age and the acceptable body explores how middle age men’s beauty and health practices are represented in different kinds of contemporary media through critical cultural analysis of the emerging understandings of ageing processes and acceptable appearances
  2.  Pleasure and desire investigates the medicalization that middle-aged men undertake in order to enhance their sexual performance; institutionalized and prescribed as well as recreational drugs are considered.
  3.  Norms and identity investigates medicalization of men in order to change the appearance and capacities of the body to be aligned with both norms and sexual/gender identity, e.g. by analyzing the websites and online visual and audiovisual marketing material from different Danish and international cosmetic beauty centers.

Medicine Man: Media Assemblages of Medicalized Masculinity is funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark from 2018-2021.


PI, professor, Karen Hvidtfeldt
Associate professor, Michael Nebeling Petersen
Assistant professor, Camilla Bruun Eriksen
Post.doc. Kristian Møller
Post.doc. Mie Birk Jensen
Ph.d. Signe Rom Rasmussen