Masculinity Definition

2000 words, about 8 pages,
6 sources,
3 of which must be from scholarly sources, research studies, and/or peer-reviewed academic journals
Double spaced, Times New Roman 12 pt font, 1 in. margins
Name, class #, professor, semester in upper left-hand corner, single spaced
An original title
Works Cited, in MLA format

Your Mission:
Write a roughly eight-page argumentative essay that responds to this central question:

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What is masculinity?
Contrast strong definitions and claims as to what it means and how it operates/regulates us culturally, and then use this working understanding of the term to develop your own definition.
Interrogate the choice of words in different definition; unpack the implications of every synonym. You might explore etymology, history, society; sports, pop culture, warfare, religion, class struggle etc.
You will synthesize direct quotes from your research into the context of your sentences, comparing and contrasting positions as you formulate your *own* definition of masculinity, and what being/becoming a man means to you.
What qualities/features/traits/affinities make one masculine?
What are the benefits & consequences of masculinity and femininity? And for whom?

Consider masculinity a spectrum of associated energies rather than strictly tied to males.

In other, clearer words: you will define masculinity for yourself after having researched and considered on the page the ways in which masculinity isframed/constructed/formulated by those who have studied and written about it.Consider ideals of manhood in your life, on television. Deconstruct them to demonstrate your point. Evaluate the ways in which your Platonic ideals converge and diverge from traditional masculinity.

Hegemonic Masculinity

In gender studies, hegemonic masculinity is part of R. W. Connell’s gender order theory, which recognizes multiple masculinities that vary across time, culture and the individual. Hegemonic masculinity is defined as a practice that legitimizes powerful men’s dominant position in society and justifies the subordination of the common male population and women, and other marginalized ways of being a man. [1] Conceptually, hegemonic masculinity proposes to explain how and why men maintain dominant social roles over women, and other gender identities, which are perceived as “feminine” in a given society.

As a sociological concept, the nature of hegemonic masculinity derives from the theory of cultural hegemony, by Marxist theorist Antonio Gramsci, which analyses the power relations among the social classes of a society. Hence, in the term hegemonic masculinity, the adjective hegemonic refers to the cultural dynamics by means of which a social group claims, and sustains, a leading and dominant position in a social hierarchy; nonetheless, hegemonic masculinity embodies a form of social organization that has been sociologically challenged and changed. The conceptual beginnings of hegemonic masculinity represented the culturally idealized form of manhood that was socially and hierarchically exclusive and concerned with bread winning; that was anxiety-provoking and differentiated i.e. “ruling or dominant in a political or social context.” (internally and hierarchically); that was brutal and violent, pseudo-natural and tough, psychologically contradictory, and thus crisis-prone; economically rich and socially sustained. [2]

Many sociologists criticized that definition of hegemonic masculinity as a fixed character-type, which is analytically limited, because it excludes the complexity of different, and competing, forms of masculinity. Consequently, hegemonic masculinity was reformulated to include gender hierarchy, the geography of masculine configurations, the processes of social embodiment, and the psychosocial dynamics of the varieties of masculinity. Moreover, proponents argue that hegemonic masculinity is conceptually useful for understanding gender relations, and is applicable to life-span development, education, criminology, and the representations of masculinity in
the mass communications media, the health of men and women, and the functional structure of organizations. [3]

1. Connell, R. W. (2005). Masculinities (2nd ed.). Berkeley, California: University of California Press. ISBN 9780745634265.

2. Donaldson, Mike (October 1993). “What is hegemonic masculinity?”. Theory and Society. Springer. 22 (5): 643, 657. doi:10.1007/BF00993540. JSTOR 657988.

3. Connell, R. W.; Messerschmidt, James W. (December 2005). “Hegemonic masculinity: rethinking the concept”. Gender & Society. Sage. 19 (6): 829&ndash, 859. doi:10.1177/0891243205278639. Pdf.

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