masculinity


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masculinity

the characteristics associated with the male sex. The historical study of masculinity documents ‘manliness’ as a code of conduct, heroism, strength, emphasis upon the public nature of man as natural, and monolithic dimensions of masculinity relating to objectivity, reason and CIVILIZING PROCESSES. Since the late 1970s masculinity has been studied in relation to continuity and change in its perceived forms and in relation to gender relations and sexual politics (Roper and Tosh, 1991; Brittan, 1989). The growing men's movement is giving voice to some of the differences and similarities between men in reflecting upon and defining interrelationships between men, masculinities, the women's movement and society (Seidler, 1991).

Of great importance to these debates is the interface with FEMINISM and the women's movement and the focus upon PATRIARCHY, power, male violence and oppression (Samuels, 1993). Samuels points out that since the early 1980s there has been an explosion of books on men's issues. In his examination of the men's movement he notes four overlapping dimensions: the experiential, the sociopolitical, the mythopoetic and the gay men's movements. The experiential is therapeutic in style, offering a chance to feel, cry, hug and confess. The sociopolitical is founded upon the notion that men should learn from feminism and work towards cooperative and non-hierarchical ways of achieving equality. There has been an increasing emphasis upon gender relations, power and sexual politics, most notably in the work of Robert Connell (1987). The mythopoetic movement is led by Robert Bly whose book Iron John (1990) uses a Grimm's fairy tale to develop the thesis that men need to regain contact with their spiritual, primal, Dionysian, ‘hairy’ selves. Men can be tough, decisive and gentle. In relation to the gay men's movement, Samuels points out that HOMOSEXUALITY is a recent category, that a thriving gay community undermines a social system that deploys HETEROSEXUALITY to maintain the control of women and that there are links to be made between the gay community and the sociopolitical dimensions to the men's movement(s). Hearn (1990; 1992), located within the sociopolitical movement and a leading theorist on masculinities and their relation to feminism and male violence, states that the category of men through ‘absence, avoidance, ambivalence and alterity’ becomes a taken-for-granted presence and central to the reproduction of dominant malestream ideologies and social practices. Men are the ‘one’ to women's ‘other’(de BEAUVOIR, 1953). For Hearn, more careful work needs to be done on the interrelation of men's agency, subjectivity and practice and its relationship to men's structural power in reproducing that power and in potentially abolishing it.

References in periodicals archive ?
Respect and reputation: The construction of masculinity in poor African American men.
The examination of recent representations of masculinity that are inevitably in conversation with the trauma of 9/11 is where Millennial Masculinity thrives and where its somewhat fractured logic works best.
It is important to establish that masculinity is not reduced to the male body and that women can also perform masculinity (Halberstam 1998).
The commercial celebrates men who embrace their caring side, which is no longer antithetical to being strong, but is instead the hallmark of modern, well-rounded masculinity.
Men in Western-dominated societies are invariably exposed to discourses of masculinity (Connell, 2005), which are defined as scripts that are evaluated culturally and that present ways of living to men, in a particular society and historical time (Neugarten, 1965, 1979; Nye, 2005).
Focusing on wartime propaganda and military draft debates, part two discusses how the war redefined masculinity and the increasing power of the government to define and impact copper men's masculinity, as the Anaconda Copper Company (ACM) and the government turned to female, nonwhite, aged, or disabled persons to fill labour shortages within the copper industry.
Interestingly, Marlowe focuses primarily on those plays written by fellow students in English, since, he argues, the vernacular was "a medium in which the fault lines between academic and popular understandings of ideologically fraught concepts such as masculinity [were] likely to be exposed" (4).
In unpacking narratives of masculinity in Australian media I am using a socio-constructionist approach, in which masculinity is understood not to be an essence with which men are born (Moynihan, 1072; Singleton, 43).
In Schillings' essay also, then, masculinity is inescapably a figure for, a function of, some larger set of relations, including the radically reconstituted set of relations this novel challenges us to imagine.
In chapter 5, Burke expands on how masculinity in a single-gendered context develops in the absence of female students, namely the assumption among boys of (innate) gender differences.
Evolutionary explanations suggest that men's facial masculinity is associated with good health/genetic fitness (e.
Jacob's Working Out Egypt focuses on two concepts in analyzing the formation of the Egyptian national subject in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries: (a) effendi masculinity and (b) colonial modernity.