Hegemonic Masculinity: Rethinking the Concept R.W. Connell James W. Messerschmidt Gender & Society 2005 19:829 Greg MacInnis, Kyle Nutzenberger, Kasper Palin, Ellie Rideout, Brad Snow
Presentation Contents I. Breakdown of Article: Toward an Understanding of Lens Used in the Paper Purpose of the Paper II. Historical and Background Information: Apollonian and Dionysian Males The Origins of Hegemonic Masculinities III. Article Analysis and Conclusions: What Should Be Retained What Should Be Rejected What Should be Reformulated Conclusions
Towards an Understanding of: Hegemonic Masculinity: • Term popularized by R.W. Connell and often attributed to her work Gender and Power • R.W. Connell and co-author James W. Messerschmidt attempt to reassess the concepts and implications of hegemonic Masculinity • Goal of improving the definition of the term and widening the analysis of contributing and conflicting variables
Lens Used in the Paper: 1 of 2 Socialist Feminist Lens: • Class Analysis - Capitalism produces a class system in which men are at different levels in a hierarchy • The Gendered Division of Labour - How is it Sustained, Reproduced, Maintained? • Structure within society are the source of inequality
Lens Used in the Paper: 2 of 2 Radical Feminist Lens: Sex & Gender: Need to separate the two and examine both The Organization as a gendered entity with per-determined hierarchies
Purpose of the Paper: To examine the concept of hierarchal masculinity and furthermore determine what about the proposed theory should be retained, rejected and reformulated.
Introduction to Greek Masculinities (Males) The Apollonian Male • Based on the God Apollo • God of Light, Poetry, Knowledge, Music and Medicine • Life is ruled by order, routine, and regularity. • Learn never to show emotion, or even feel emotions. • Value knowledge, honesty and integrity. • Highly competitive personality. The Dionysian Male • Based on the God Dionysus • God of Ecstasy, Wine, Emotions and Theatre • Life is ruled by randomness, chaos, and inhibitions. • Accept one’s feminine side and feel emotions strongly. • Accept those who do not belong to conventional society. • Highly laid back personality.
Apollonian vs. Dionysian Males Popularized by Nietzsche in 1872: The Birth of Tragedy Core concepts developed between 3000 and 1000 B.C.E. There is a clear hierarchy of Apollonian Males over Dionysian Males Most Greek heroes such as Hercules and Achilles were considered Apollonian, while villains and tyrants such as Nero were considered Dionysian Both types of males often practiced homosexuality within Ancient Greek society (Pure Love)
Origins of Hegemonic Masculinity Cultural Hegemony: • First described by Antonio Gramsci • Focused on structural change within class systems • Had a modern understanding of class relations in 1977 Gay Liberation Movement: • R.W. Connell states that the idea of a hierarchy of masculinities; ‘grew directly out of homosexual men’s experience with violence and prejudice from straight men • She argues that the Concept of Homophobia was attributed to the conventional male role
Origins of Hegemonic Masculinity Additional Field Research: • Empirical social research contributed to the concept of hegemonic masculinity by ‘providing real evidence about the plurality of masculinities and the complexity of male gender construction • Studies were conducted in schools, male dominated workplaces and village communities
About the Authors 1 of 2 R.W. Connell: Connell Attended University of Melbourne (B.A Hons.) and University of Sydney (PhD) Currently Holds a University Chair at University of Sydney Works Include:RulingClass, Ruling Culture (1977), Gender and Power (1987), Masculinities (1995)
About the Authors 2 of 2 James W. Messerschmidt: Studied Criminology at University of Stockholm (PhD) Focused on connection between gender, race, class, sexuality and crime. Hegemonic masculinities and the selling of war (2013)
What Should be Retained? 1 of 2 1.The situations in which masculinities were formed change over time Research has very fully confirmed the idea of the historical construction and reconstruction of hegemonic masculinities. These changes call forth new strategies in gender relations and result in redefinitions of socially admired masculinity. Example; Gay masculinity in Western societies
What Should be Retained? 2 of 2 2. Hierarchy of masculinities is a pattern of hegemony, not a pattern of simple domination based on force Cultural consent , discursive centrality , institutionalization, and the marginalization or delegitimation of alternatives are widely documented features of socially dominant masculinities. Exemplars of Masculinity - Symbols that have authority despite the fact that most men and boys do not fully live up to them (e.g., professional sports stars).
What Should be Rejected? 1 of 2 1. The simplified perspective on social relations regarding hegemonic masculinity Functionalism: gender relations seen as self-contained, self-productive; in fact a historical process External hegemony vs. internal hegemony Hegemonic masculinity apply the parts of other masculinities that support the continuation of dominance
What Should be Rejected? 2 of 2 2. The statements about hegemonic masculinity from the perspective of trait theory The essentialist as well as trait approach to masculinity gender should be thoroughly transcended Masculinity is not the sum of personal traits, rather the “configurations of practice that are accomplished in social action”
What Should be Reformulated? 1 of 4 1. The Nature of Gender Hierarchy Gender is relational Women are central in many of the processes constructing masculinities Research on hegemonic masculinity needs to pay closer attention to the practices of women and the historical interplay of femininities and masculinities Must recognize the agency of subordinated groups as much as the power of dominant groups
What Should be Reformulated? 2 of 4 2. The Geography of Masculinities Private Patriarchy→ Local Hegemonic Masculinity Public Patriarchy→ Regional Hegemonic Masculinity Global Hegemonic Masculinity Links between 3 levels Global dynamics in gender is growing, reshaping local patterns of masculinity and femininity
What Should be Reformulated? 3 of 4 3. Social Embodiment Bodies are involved more actively, more intimately, and more intricately in social processes than theory has usually allowed The body is a participant in generating social practice To understand embodiment and hegemony, we need to understand that bodies are both objects and agents of social practice Circuits of social practice linking bodily processes and social structures
What Should be Reformulated? 4 of 4 4. The Dynamics of Masculinities Layering and internal contradiction within all practices that construct masculinities Masculinities are configurations of practice that are constructed, unfold, and change through time Hegemonic masculinity→ need to abolish power differentials, not just reproduce a hierarchy A version of masculinity open to equality with women
Conclusions The paper explores ways in which a contemporary understanding of hegemonic masculinity can be constructed. Retained: The situations in which masculinities were formed change over time, and hierarchy of masculinities is a pattern of hegemony, not a pattern of simple domination based on force Rejected: The simplified perspective on social relations regarding hegemonic masculinity, and the statements about hegemonic masculinity from the perspective of trait theory Reformulated: The nature of gender hierarchy, the geography of masculine configurations, the process of social embodiment, and the dynamics of masculinities
Discussion Questions Consider the types of masculinities we have studied so far, which of these do you think is the most likely to potentially progress into a masculinity that is open to equality with women? Which institutions and organizations do you believe hegemonic masculinity is most prevalent? Do you think that the prevalence of Male celebrities in Western societies contributes to accepting a wide range of masculinities? Being a trans-gender women herself, do you think this hinders or increases her ability to access male gender and masculinities? Is homophobia attributed to the conventional male role in Canadian society? Are there other places in the world that it is part of the conventional male role? Considering your own group of male friends, would you classify them as either an Apollonian or Dionysian Male?
Works Used http://www.raewynconnell.net/p/about-raewyn_20.html http://usm.maine.edu/crm/james-w-messerschmidt http://www.engagemen-me.org/sites/default/files/Hegemonic%20MasculinityRethinking%20the%20Concept%20(R.%20W.%20Connell%20and%20James%20W.%20Messerschmidt).pdf http://www.historyguide.org/europe/dio_apollo.html http://www.vccaedu.org/inquiry/vcca-journal/thro.html