Guns and governmentality
Normative masculinity and disciplined gun violence
in Gunslinging justice
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This chapter explores the language of normativity and its interaction with the Western and the discourse of law. Through close readings of cinematic texts like Shane (1952), The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), and The Shootist (1976), the Western genre is read here to represent what Barbara Cruickshank has called a ‘technology of citizenship.’ This chapter argues that the Western gunslinger’s masculinity works to discipline, to tame, the potential for radically disruptive personal violence inherent in the liberties of American self-defense doctrine.

Gunslinging justice

The American culture of gun violence in Westerns and the law

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