Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Universitas: The University of Northern Iowa Journal of Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity






15 pp.


(First paragraph) The development of the character of Det. Andy Sipowicz, on the ABC drama, NYPD: Blue, effectively demonstrates that the obstinance of traditional forms of masculinity may ultimately be a key factor in their undoing. Rather than effecting a superficial change based on consumer choice, as concurrent characters do, Sipowicz undergoes a transformation of his social behavior. Sipowicz regularly behaves in a manner consistent with Robert Connell’s definition of “hegemonic masculinity”: he resorts to violence, he resists change and he resents women and minorities (131). His alcoholism and quick temper tend to hinder his ability to adapt. However, change has occurred around him in the form of gay coworkers, minority bosses and even a spouse who was better educated, earned more and held a more esteemed position than he did. In every instance, Sipowicz’ stubborn adherence to the patriarchal dictums to “get over it” or to “deal with it” results in his eventual conversion from hegemonic masculinity to a more tolerant masculine formation.1 That NYPD: Blue belongs to the basic genre of the “cop drama” makes Sipowicz’ negotiation of masculine behaviors more extraordinary since this genre traditionally relies on hypermasculine modes, often to the exclusion and even detriment of women and minorities.2


"Copyright for all publications in Universitas remains with the authors. Authors may select to republish their work as long as they provide full citation acknowledging Universitas as the original place of publication."

© 2006 Marc Ouellette

Original Publication Citation

Ouellette, M. (2006). "It’ll pass": NYPD: Blue’s Sipowicz and mundane masculinity. Universitas: The University of Northern Iowa Journal of Reseach, Scholarship, and Creative Activity, 2(2).