Deconstructing hegemonic masculinity: contradiction, hegemony and dislocation
The axiomatic nature of hegemonic masculinity in the Critical Studies of Men (CSM) continues to come under increased scrutiny. In particular, the issue of how hegemonic masculinity bridges the space between men and masculinity, practice and identification, real and symbolic and particular and universal remains open to much interest and debate. This article contributes to this debate. In particular it sets out to re-emphasise the importance of hegemonic masculinity in the process of understanding how and what men do with how and what men identify as by introducing to CSM a postmarxist approach to masculinities and gender. This article will argue that through a postmarxist approach hegemonic masculinity comes to represent an empty signifier within gender politics. Developing hegemonic masculinity in this way is a radically new approach in the theorisation of masculinities but one that is able to incorporate poststructuralist imperatives such as, moving beyond assumptions about fixed character types but also, build on the need to maintain the analysis of hegemony in gender relations. As such, this article presents new possibilities in theory and thereby, contributes to the re-thinking of how both men and hegemonic masculinity become important parts of the process of producing and reproducing hegemony.
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