Contemporary Society's Crisis of Masculinity Essay

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Contemporary Society's Crisis of Masculinity Works Cited Not Included Masculinity is the word used to describe the broad stereotyped traits traditionally ascribed to all males in British society and the notion of how men should appear and behave. It is more accurate to refer to 'masculinities', to reflect the complexity and diversity of masculinity today. There are important differences made between 'hegemonic' and 'subordinate' masculinities; hegemonic masculinity is the dominant western image - white, heterosexual and middle class, subordinate the diverse masculinities - homosexual men, black men and the working class. David Beckham is a modern icon who has expressed and challenged some of the…show more content…
5) '…radical gay politics and black politics have produced new definitions of the world that are not attributed to the grand narrative of White Man'. Walby believes that the differentiation made between feminine and masculine characteristics are still as strong as ever, but that the characteristics seen as making each sex either masculine or feminine has changed significantly. For example in the 19th Century women were confined to the domestic sphere and were unpaid. In the 20th Century Walby says that 'the key sign of femininity today…is sexual attractiveness to men'. Most social writers believe that masculinities are constructed socially rather than being innate. It is believed to be the way boys are socialised into dominant patterns, which put emphasis on such characteristics as toughness, competitiveness and aggression that causes behaviour of the stereotypical masculine type. If social construction is the key to masculinity it follows that men can be resocialised into gentler and more sensitive roles. Seidler believes it is misleading to regard human behaviour as completely flexible, as if 'bad characteristics' can be totally eliminated. He suggests Freudian theory is useful in encouraging men (and woman) to confront the 'darker' side of their natures.
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