What is HEGEMONIC MASCULINITY? What does HEGEMONIC MASCULINITY mean? HEGEMONIC MASCULINITY meaning - HEGEMONIC MASCULINITY definition - HEGEMONIC MASCULINITY explanation.
Source: Wikipedia.org article, adapted under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ license.
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 the current configuration of practice that legitimizes men's dominant position in society and justifies the subordination of women, and other marginalized ways of being a man. 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 sociologic concept, the hegemonic nature of "hegemonic masculinity" derives from the theory of cultural hegemony, by Marxist theorist Antonio Gramsci, which analyzes 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 (internally and hierarchically); that was brutal and violent, pseudo-natural and tough, psychologically contradictory, and thus crisis-prone; economically rich and socially sustained.
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 psycho-social 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, the representations of masculinity in the mass communications media, the health of men and women, and the functional structure of organizations.