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Do We Need Any More Books About Men?: Teaching Masculinity

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsChapter (peer-reviewed)

Published

Publication date6/01/2012
Host publicationTeaching Gender
EditorsAlice Ferrebe, Fiona Tolan
Place of publicationBasingstoke
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Pages63-82
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9780230252516 9780230252523
Original languageEnglish

Publication series

NameTeaching the New English
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan

Abstract

The development of masculinities as a field of study was a necessary extension of the vital importance of feminist critical theory and practice in the English a academy from the 1970s onwards. Where feminism had opened a space to consider the multiple, conflicted, resistant and emergent constructions and representations of the feminine (and female), much work remained to be done in revisiting a totalised conception of masculinity, which had been unambiguously identified with patriarchal and hegemonic ideological formations. Rather than being secondary to, or parasitic on the work of feminism, a focus upon the specific constructions of masculinity within patriarchal, late capitalist, democratic and mediated cultures complements it. An analysis of the dominant and subordinated forms of masculinity helps to reorganise the field of gender studies towards the subject and helps undo (or at least bring into view) problematic male/ female, masculine/ feminine binaries of earlier discourses on sex and gender. This chapter is organised into three sections in order to situate a discussion of contemporary masculinity studies in terms of (a) its informing discourses; (b) its organization in university English curricula; and (c) the relationship between masculinity and literary genre.