SOC275: Chapter 1 – Notes Week 2: January 16th
Is constructed in relation to various subordinated masculinities as well as in relation to women.
This theory emphasizes competition among men for power and dominance within systems of
gender inequality or patriarchy.
• Erving Goffman described hegemonic masculinity like this:
o In and important sense there is only one complete unblushing male in America: a
young, married, white, urban, northern, heterosexual, Protestant, father, of college
education, fully employed, of good complexion, weight and height, and a recent
record in sports…any male who fails to qualify in any one of these ways is likely
to view himself – during moments at least – as unworthy, incomplete, and inferior.
o Makes it clear that the ideal of hegemonic masculinity is unattainable
• Most of our ideals of hegemonic masculinity are media images
• Not everyone subscribes to ideals of hegemonic masculinity
• There is no “hegemonic” version of femininity
• Masculinity must be earned, femininity is simply grown into
Exaggerates gender differences as a strategy of ‘adaptation to men’s power’ stressing empathy
and nurturance; ‘real’ womanhood is described as ‘fascinating’, and women are advised that they
can wrap men around their fingers by knowing and playing by the ‘rules’
• Oriented to accommodate the interests and desires of men
• One sees this in the display of sociability
*Domination creates and exaggerates difference
Interplanetary Theory of Gender
• Through biology or socialization, women act like women, no