Hegemonic Masculinity Analysis

Decent Essays
Reserving the cultural power and importance of gaming for the male audience effectively forms a gender hierarchy, which is the definition of hegemonic masculinity (Connell, 2005). This concept is a theoretical perspective combining Gramsci’s analysis of class relations with gender studies to illustrate how gender can shape society. Connell defines hegemonic masculinity as a “gender practice which embodies the currently accepted answer to the problem of the legitimacy of patriarchy, which guarantees (or is taken to guarantee) the dominant position of men and the subordination of women” (Connell, 2005, p. 77). Therefore, in the context of the videogames industry and the gaming press, because men have always been, and continue to be perceived as, the dominant audience, they and not women, will remain the principal group courted by these institutions, which effectively reinforces the perception that gaming is a space owned by men where women are not…show more content…
One of the first studies found that more than 40% of games did not contain any female characters in any form, and when games did feature females they were positioned as sex objects or victims (Dietz, 1998). The studies that followed found, and have continued to report, male characters were overrepresented, predominately portrayed as Caucasian heterosexual leaders and heroes, while females were underrepresented, objectified, sexualised, and relegated to helpless or provocative background characters requiring to be rescued by, or serve as titillation and reward for, the male player. These researchers have concluded that, due to these gender representations, gaming was an unwelcoming environment for females (Subrahmanyam & Greenfield, 2000, p. 59; Beasley & Standley, 2002; Kennedy, 2002; Dunlop, 2007; Dill, & Thill, 2007; Dickerman et al, 2008; Downs and Smith, 2010; Sarkeesian,
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