Eric Louis Russell: Alpha Masculinity

Palgrave, 2021

Book cover and title

In a new book, French professor and linguistics graduate faculty member Eric Louis Russell shows that neo-positive masculinity combines elements of dominance, normativity, and androcentrism. This book examines the linguistic and discursive mechanisms that realize the mythological American Alpha Male. Providing an in-depth dissection of corpora from an online sociocommercial community, a pop-psychology guru, and fictional gay erotica, it unravels the ways language, gender, and hegemony play out in this ideological figure of neopositive, essentialist masculinity. Through a detailed, multi-level analysis, Russell shows how the Alpha figure combines elements of dominance, normativity, and androcentrism and how these forces intersect with neoliberal and pseudoscientific discourses to establish a uniquely hybridized male hegemony, one that is familiar to most, but whose internal mechanisms remain largely unquestioned and unexamined. This book will be of interest to academic scholars in sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, cultural studies, and gender and sexualities studies.