Monday, 19 August 2013

Marginalisation and Masculinity; colonial ordering of masculinity in Harold and Kumar go to white castle (2004) part II

The masculinity or a masculinity The notion of ‘Masculinities’ is not synonyms to men or male. Masculinity is much more; masculinity is undeniably connected to gender. Therefore, masculinity entails the whole weight of gender and all connotations the dichotomy (male/female) brings to the table (Connell, 2005). Men and women both have expectations of behaviour, the ‘repetition’ and exposure to masculinity ideals create, as Connell calls them, ”patterns of practice by which people engage that position” (Connell, 2005, p. 15). In contemporary social psychology masculine and feminine stereotypes are viewed as more or less static, a blend of disposition and societal structures keeping them at place in society (Connell, 2005). The societal view classifies masculinity as an uninfluenced fact set in stone by your genes or determined by a higher power. Men just as women are considered to be in this absolute category, in which one only can occupy one space. Moreover one has to occupy one space (Connell, 2005). In the categorisation of gender certain essentialist assumptions take over and are emerging as generalisation. The phrases ‘Boys will be boys’ and ‘that is such a male thing to say’ is often heard by men and women alike, assuming that the nature of all men is the same. However, there are differences between men and their masculinities. There are multiple masculinities and these are not static but ever changing. Throughout history masculinities changed through interactions and the negotiation of gender roles is society (Connell, 2005). The concept of hegemonic masculinity is a very influential factor in the shaping of the masculinity representations (Cheng, 1999). The idea of hegemony “refers to the cultural dynamic by which a group claims and sustains a leading position in social life” (Connell, 2005, p. 77). An idealised and dominant picture of masculinity prevailed (mimicking the male and white colonial domination) over other masculinities. Hegemony can be considered a cultural dominance over other societies in the case of masculinity hegemony takes on an engendered representation (Sinha, 1995). In order to portray the ideal of the hegemonic male's superiority or his masculinity, the marginalised masculinities are shown as conquered or lacking (Connell, 2005).

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