LINC28H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 9: Civil Force, Social Relation, Masculinity

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21 Jul 2016
Chapter 9: New men and old boys
Boys put enormous effort into being masculine.
they need to distance themselves from their mothers, to repress the early intimate bond w/ the
parent who nurtures them.
Nancy Chodorow’s work in object-relations theory w/in sociology:
in this view, male children must distinguish their own identity as masculine from the identity of
their female parent, leading to anxiety and compulsive performances of maleness.
Boys have to prove their masculinity, constantly.
Boys and men have a lot to gain from masculinity.
boys soon learn that it is highly valued, something worth achieving.
-by performing masculinity, men can expect to reap respect, prestige and the right to command:
the ‘patriarchal dividend’.
Masculine and feminine identities are effects of discursive practices.
Masculinity is performed by individuals, of course, but it is not an individual property or
attribute; it is formed w/in institutions and is historically constituted.
Like femininity, it is discursively produced and its articulation spans institutions.
it can be viewed as a conglomeration of concepts, themes and images, and of kinds of social
relation and social practice.
Hegemonic masculinity:
dominant form
the one that counts as normal, that traditionally has the blessing of the church, the support of the
state and, ultimately, has all the force and obviousness of common sense.
not achieved by force- although that helps-but by consent.
Men’s ascendancy is institutionalized in the patriarchal institution of the family, in which women
an children are subordinate to men.
There is a notable similarity b/w traditional household in different cultures and across classes, w/
wives being responsible for the domestic servicing of men (in other words, they look after their
bodies: see they have food and clothes to wear).
The global domination of men is structural fact, demonstrable w/ statistics on the labour market,
incomes and wealth, government and other sites of power.
Some of the key concepts, practices and relations surrounding heterosexuality, hierarchy,
dominance, violence and being ‘the breadwinner’.
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Men have given themselves a privileged position w/ regard to rationality.
women were long excluded from the rational, controlling discourses of science and bureaucracy
and these discourses are still strongly associated w/ a specifically middle-class masculinity.
Bringing in the ‘family wage’ is deeply entrenched as masculine in a wide range of discourses.
work= part of being a ‘real man’.
A study of the men’s magazine Arena suggests that men are defined in terms of their
in the early nineties was trying to do things that are no longer necessary-namely, legitimizing
consumption for men and negotiating a position in the ‘feminine’ space of the British lifestyle
magazine- and this article was doing some of this cultural work.
but man-the-wage-earner is a fairly recent aspect of hegemonic masculinity anyway, which
shows how gender identities are enmeshed in history and in economic structures.
-it has its origins in industrialization, in the creation of ‘workplace’ and ‘home’ as separate
domains and the exclusion of women from paid employment that this enforced.
Violence= key practice in enactments of masculinity
Male violence is legitimized to various degrees across institutions: from school sports to the state
institutions of military and civil force.
the army and the police are licensed to use violence.
-they provide ‘protection’ that is perceived as masculine.
Connell identifies two patterns of violence.
one of these sustains dominance over women: intimidation, from street harassment to murder.
another sustains the boundaries among men: from ‘queer bashing’ and gang fights to full-scale
international warfare.
Hegemonic masculinity depends upon subordinate masculinities.
since the late 19th century, homosexuality has been a key subordinate masculinity.
-other subordinate forms are imposed on men at the bottom end of social hierarchies.
Connell identifies an oppositional ‘protest masculinity’.
-one of his case studies characterizes this form of masculine identity: violence, school resistance,
minor crime, heavy drug/alcohol use, manual labour, motorbikes or cars, short heterosexual
Both Pujolar and Connell describe a form of masculinity adopted by young men w/ little hope of
rewarding, employment, marginalized by these poor job prospects and poor housing.
it is a marginalized masculinity, reworking elements of hegemonic masculinity in the context of
-it is an identity shaped by deprivation.
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