By Chris Beasley and Heather Brook

Manchester University Press

Beasley Brook

‘This is an important book which helps us better understand a key political and cultural phenomena – Hollywood films. The book is engaging, packed with insights, and helps us understand film as ‘political objects’… it’s a book with a serious project at this core, but never loses sight of the passion and excitement of cinema-going.’
Rob Manwaring, Flinders University.



Adopting and developing a ‘cultural politics’ approach, this comprehensive study explores how Hollywood movies generate and reflect political myths about social and personal life that profoundly influence how we understand power relations. Instead of looking at genre, it employs three broad categories of film. ‘Security’ films present ideas concerning public order and disorder, citizen-state relations and the politics of fear. ‘Relationalities’ films highlight personal and intimate politics, bringing norms about identities, gender and sexuality into focus. In ‘socially critical’ films, particular issues and ideas are endowed with more overtly political significance. The book considers these categories as global political technologies implicated in hegemonic and ‘soft power’ relations whose reach is both deep and broad.


About the Authors

Chris Beasley is a Professor of Politics at the University of Adelaide, and a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. She has written and taught extensively in the areas of social and political theory, gender and sexuality stuides and cultural politics. From 2009-2013 she was Co-Director of the Fay Gale Centre for Research on Gender at the University of Adelaide.

Heather Brook was Senior Lecturer in Women’s Studies at Flinders University. She sadly passed away in mid-2019; shortly after publication of this book and following several years living with cancer.

The book is available from Manchester University Press and other book sellers.