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Men and Masculinities - What critiques have been offered of Connell's notion of 'hegemonic masculinity' Do you agree wi - Research Paper Example

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Views and Critiques Offered of R.W. Connell’s Conception of “Hegemonic Masculinity” Views and Critiques Offered of R.W. Connell’s Conception of “Hegemonic Masculinity” Before the term “hegemonic masculinity” was widely used in gender studies, it was widely accepted that males are biologically and socially established as the dominant gender over females (Carrigan, et al., 1985, p…
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Download file to see previous pages 253). Connell and colleagues (1985, p. 552) were the first to break the ice by introducing the idea that men and masculinity were all produced by the relationship that the women enabled them to, which in turn gave rise to the patriarchal system of society, politics, and family organisation. While their idea was met with either insightful or defensive criticisms, the work was very influential in the sense that many other authors were also able to create input in the study of masculinity and gender studies. The revolutionary idea that in order for the feminist movement to become truly successful, there must also be changes for the men’s part as well is now even more relevant than ever, and by bringing in the focus on how to tame the prevailing patriarchal culture, the proper changes in the societal definition of masculinity can possibly be challenged and renovated along with the change in the gender roles of modern society. The main questions that challenge the idea that hegemonic masculinity is normal are: how the collective actions and ideas of most men were able to make dominance over women and other men seem normal and enjoyable; why these same men and women allow such dominance to exist; and how can gender equality be achieved by initiating resistance to the prevailing norm of hegemonic masculinity (Levy, 2007, p. 253). A possible idea for this is that hegemonic masculinity was a concept, created as a culturally idealised subject on how a man should think or act in the society (Donaldson, 1993, p. 645). Over a period of several generations, this kind of thinking incorporated other elements such as being highly-differentiated in most societal classes, brutality and violence, as well as being tough and unemotional. These traits became the large set of ideals that men follow in order to become the role model male, which basically did not change for several thousands of years. The family with the breadwinner status becomes the head of the household due to the additional input and exertion given to support the family. This gives him or her greater control over other members of the family despite having supposed equal rights with the spouse. This became the norm for most men in earlier societies due to them having greater strength than the women. Because of the rising dominance of manual labour in many societies, it eventually created a culture where men are seen mostly as those that have greater edge over women that mostly stay at home. When particular groups of men were able to inhabit positions of wealth and power due to the rise in social classes, they were also able to legitimise other aspects that would further give them greater dominance not just to other males and females, but to the greater part of the society as a whole (Carrigan, et al., 1985, p. 554). This particular group of dominant males become even more well-known within the society, thus exuding greater influence over other males as well. By observing rulers or other leaders of some sort, they become people that other males look up to, and wish to be, and the innate characteristics that these leader-figures have become the idealised characteristics that males are supposed to have. However, despite being the collective concept of what the ideal male ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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