CRIM 104 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Hegemonic Masculinity, Labour Power, Feminist Theory

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The Pink Collar Ghetto- Sally Simpson- consists of service, sales and clerical jobs that provide poverty-level pay. These jobs are
usually filled by females of the “underclass”- young women living in urban centers, who are uneducated or undereducated,
unemployed or underemployed, unskilled, and often welfare dependent.
The Underclass- Sally Simpson- consists of primarily young individuals living in urban centers, who are uneducated or
undereducated, unemployed or underemployed, unskilled, and often welfare dependent. Simpson describes this underclass by
invoking Marxian notion of the “surplus population”- referred to by Marxists as the “surplus labor pool” or “industrial reserve army”
Patriarchal Household- John Hagan’s Power-Control Theory- feminist theory often focuses on patriarchy how females are
economically and socially disadvantaged and how female sexuality and labour power are expropriated and exploited by males. It
refers to long-established (still existing) set of power arrangements that have permitted males to dominate, oppress and exploit
females throughout history. Hagan argues that the class of the family reproduces gender relations seen in society, based upon
power of the spouses outside of the home. The type of patriarchal household discussed by power control theory is one where the
father works, mother stays home to look after house and children. in traditional patriarchal (male-dominated) families, girls are
subjected to greater control than boys, which explains why boys tend to be more delinquent (take more risks) than girls.
Subordinate Masculinity- discouraged by schools and mass media- lack of physical strength, lack of interest in sports, the presence of
feminine traits, not being a “manly man”. Messerschmidt points out that teenagers who fail to achieve hegemonic masculinity, thus
developing subordinate masculinity, are often referred to as “wimps” “nerds” or “fags”. He says that most males will attempt to
achieve hegemonic (rather than subordinate) masculinity.
Hegemonic Masculinity- culturally idealized and encouraged by schools and mass media – involves money, power, strength, athletic
ability, heterosexuality “manly man”. Messerschmidt points out that teenagers who achieve hegemonic masculinity in school social
structure are referred to as “jocks” cool” and “tough guys”. He says most will attempt to achieve this type of masculinity.
Difference; the body and crime- James Messerschmidt’s “Men, Masculinities, and Crime”. He acknowledges that body type (size,
strength, athletic ability) can influence how males go about constructing their masculinity (and committing crimes). He gives
examples of two males (Hugh and Zack) come from same social class, same school in same town. Both learned from older male
relatives that “real men” strived for hegemonic masculinity. One, being tall and strong, got into assaultive behaviour to demonstrate
his male dominance. The other, being smaller and weaker, began abusing his young female cousin in order to demonstrate his male
dominance
Caste- Sally Simpson used term in article “Caste, Class and Violent Crime”. She adds the notion of caste to the usual factors of race,
class and gender. According to Simpson, caste is a combination of gender and race. She applies the term to Black females in the US
who are members of the “underclass”. Simpson argues that caste members are more affected than their White, or non-Black
counterparts by racism, poverty and patriarchy.
The unconscious, splitting and projection- psychoanalyst Tony Jefferson- discussed by James Messerschmidt in “Men, Masculinities,
and Crime”. Jefferson claims that men become violent and aggressive through an unconscious psychological process of splitting and
projection. Messerschmidt rejects the explanation advanced by Jefferson, saying that psychoanalytic constructs such as the
unconscious, project and splitting are unobservable, unmeasurable, and hence, unprovable.
Power Control Theory- John Hagan. Talks about patriarchy and “class, state, and the household.” It attempts to explain why males
are more likely to be delinquent (less controlled or restrained) than females. The type of patriarchal household discussed by power
control theory is one where father works, mother stays at home. In traditional patriarchal (male-dominated) families, girls are
subjected to greater control than boys, which explains why boys tend to be more delinquent (take more risks) than girls. At the same
time, mothers more prominent position in household and in the workforce may encourage girls to be more risk-taking (delinquent)
Crime as Structured Action- James Messerschmidt- social class and race are importance determinants when it comes to the
construction (making) of masculinity. He equates the making of masculinity with the making of crime. However, he says that males
go about constructing their masculinity (and committing crimes) on the basis of their race and social class. Upper and middle class
white males are less likely to engage in violent crime, but more likely than lower class or ethnic minority males to become involved
in white collar or corporate crimes. Lower class white males are disproportionately involved in hate crimes, to demonstrate their
male dominance over subordinated masculinities and ethnic minorities. Gang membership is more important for lower class
minority males, who construct a violent oppositional masculinity. Lower class minority males are more likely to engage in gang
warfare or armed robbery to demonstrate their toughness and dominance over others.
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