Critique And New Directions For Theory

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Critique and new directions for theory Raewyn Connell’s concepts and theory have found wide use in areas such as education studies, criminology, the study of media representations of men and in organization studies (Connell and Messerschmidt 2005). With such a broad applicability, it also attracted a great deal of criticism. In their review of the concepts and of the critique, Connell and Messerschmidt sort the existing objections in five categories of critique, which I will present in the following section (ibid., 836-845). The first main argument is that the underlying concept of masculinity is flawed, that it creates a static typology and essentializes the character of men. The authors reject this critique and assert that ‘masculinity is not a fixed entity embedded in the body or personality traits of individuals’ (Connell and Messerschmidt 2005, 836). Moreover, they deem the conflating of ‘hegemonic masculinity’ with a certain type of men or confining it to certain “manly” characteristics as an inadequate use of the concept. As Levy argues, ‘hegemonic masculinity’ is an ideal-type, ‘the currently accepted male ideal within a particular culture at a particular time’ (2007, 254). In his research of the recent academic appropriation of ‘hegemonic masculinity’, Messerschmidt found out that 18% of the 128 articles using it as a core concept ‘equated hegemonic masculinity with certain “masculine” character traits (2012, 61). He exemplified with a study that tried to show
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