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Hegemonic Masculinity Practices Essay

1493 words - 6 pages

As mentioned before in historically specific masculinities, hegemonic masculinity is not a universal phenomenon. Hegemonic masculinity practices are not only dominate towards women - domination practices also involve ‘other’ masculinities. Hegemonic masculinity is thus “the hegemony over women and hegemony over subordinate masculinities”, according to Demetriou (2009,341).
Not all men and their practices, fall within the hegemonic masculine “category”. Connell and Messerschmidt (2005:846) observe that there are hierarchy within masculinity and describe this as a pattern of hegemony. Within this hierarchy, certain masculinities are socially more central and more associated with authority and power compared to others. They expand by stating that non-hegemonic masculinities, within the masculinities sphere – are subordinate to their hegemonic brothers. They describe this subordination as complex with factors such as cultural consent, discursive centrality and marginalization playing a part in the process of domination and the creation of non-hegemonic masculinities.
Demetriou (2001, 341-343) label non-hegemonic masculinities as internal hegemony (or masculine hegemony over other masculinities). Three forms of internal hegemony are identified: subordinate masculinity, marginalized masculinity and complicit masculinity.
Subordinate masculinities, according Demetriou and in concurrence with Wedgwood (2008:335), specify that certain groups of men have less status and privilege than the ‘dominant’ hegemonic group. He uses the example of gay versus heterosexual men - with gay men receiving the short end of the stick in relations to material practices and is discriminated against in a political-, economic-, cultural- and legal sphere.
Marginalized masculinities refer to the domination of men (by men) based on their social class and/or ethnic group (Demetriou, 2009). Connelll and Messerschmidt (2005,847) concur and elaborate by arguing that marginalized groups are often dominated on condition of their specific location (local level) and use blue-collar workers as an example. In regards with ethnic groups – oppression based on race comes into play. Connell and Messerschmidt (2005:848) observe that marginalized masculinities lack economic resources and institutional authority to change their situation and be incorporated into hegemony masculinity.
Complicit masculinities as a non-hegemonic group, does not act in the way prescribed by the hegemonic model (Demetriou, 2009). They are, however, still passively sustaining patriarchy. This relates to the cultural idea attached to masculine hegemony: civil society promotes patriarchy through examples of what “true masculinity” should be - as illustrated previously with the Brad Pitt example. These men are not in the “army of domination”, per se, but still benefit from patriarchy.
3.7. Femininity and gender hegemony
Connell state in Wedgwood (2008,335) that there is a need for a “more complex model...

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