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Posted: September 4th, 2023

Hegemonic masculinity

Hegemonic masculinity is a term used to describe the dominant or idealized form of masculinity that is often associated with power, strength, and aggression. This concept has been widely studied in sociology, gender studies, and other related fields. In this paper, we will discuss the concept of hegemonic masculinity in detail, including its origins, characteristics, and impacts on individuals and society.

Origins of Hegemonic Masculinity:

The concept of hegemonic masculinity was first introduced by R.W. Connell in the 1980s. Connell described hegemonic masculinity as a “configuration of gender practice” that is constructed through social and cultural processes. In other words, hegemonic masculinity is not a fixed or innate characteristic, but rather a social construct that is shaped by cultural norms and expectations.

Characteristics of Hegemonic Masculinity:

Hegemonic masculinity is often characterized by traits such as aggression, dominance, competitiveness, and emotional detachment. These traits are typically associated with traditional ideas of masculinity and are reinforced by cultural messages and media representations of male identity. Men who conform to these ideals are often seen as more “manly” or “masculine” than those who do not.

Impacts of Hegemonic Masculinity:

Hegemonic masculinity can have negative impacts on both individuals and society. For example, men who feel pressure to conform to these ideals may engage in risky behaviors or become violent as a means of demonstrating their masculinity. In addition, women and other marginalized groups may be subject to discrimination and violence as a result of the power dynamics created by hegemonic masculinity.

Moreover, hegemonic masculinity can also be harmful to men themselves. Men who do not conform to these ideals may face stigma and discrimination, which can lead to social isolation and mental health issues. Additionally, the pressure to conform to hegemonic ideals can lead to emotional suppression and a lack of emotional intelligence, which can be detrimental to relationships and overall well-being.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, hegemonic masculinity is a social construct that is shaped by cultural norms and expectations. It is characterized by traits such as aggression, dominance, competitiveness, and emotional detachment, and can have negative impacts on both individuals and society. It is important to challenge and deconstruct these norms in order to create a more equitable and just society for all.

References:

Connell, R.W. (1987). Gender and Power: Society, the Person and Sexual Politics. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Kupers, T.A. (2005). Hegemonic Masculinity as a Conceptual Barrier: The Problem of Empirical Redundancy. Feminism & Psychology, 15(1), 41-44.

Messner, M.A. (2016). Some Men: Feminist Allies and the Movement to End Violence Against Women. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

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