The Hegemonic Male: Masculinity in a Portuguese Town - Vol. 4

The Hegemonic Male: Masculinity in a Portuguese Town - Vol. 4

The Hegemonic Male: Masculinity in a Portuguese Town - Vol. 4

The Hegemonic Male: Masculinity in a Portuguese Town - Vol. 4

Synopsis

The author examines the social processes and relations that make up hegemonic masculinity, the model that attempts to subordinate alternative masculinities, and which is the model of compulsory monogamy, male domination, heterosexuality and reproduction.

Excerpt

People in Pardais do not talk just about masculinity, gender or sexuality. Far from it. the themes are themselves difficult to address with everyday words, and so they are expressed as embodied practices, in symbols and metaphors. Talk -- and writing -- about subjects that in one way or another touch upon sex can always be misinterpreted. It is a 'touchy' subject, since it hinges on the very moral ground of life in society and of personal identities, highly visible yet guardedly private. That is why people have pseudonyms in this book. However, the name of the village and those of surrounding towns, are real. Social life is made of real people in real places. Although privacy should be preserved and anonymity guaranteed, I believe that villages belong to the public sphere of culture as a lived dispute and negotiation of the meanings of identity which can have -- and do have -- social and political consequences. the village life as observed by the anthropologist is public, there to be interpreted and enjoyed by experts and general audiences, as much as to be lived in and by the local population. I do realise, however, that this double strategy (personal anonymity, public visibility) is not wholly satisfactory. I also believe that there is yet to be born the anthropologist who can solve once and for all the ambiguities of these ethical dilemmas.

When I left for the field, I took along with me certain questions. the main one was: how is masculinity reproduced in daily life and interaction? Specifically, how is hegemonic masculinity reproduced, when the diversity of men's experiences and identities suggest that there are several masculinities? These questions multiplied throughout fieldwork, reading and writing. They gave birth to other questions that I have tried to address in the different chapters. After the initial Portuguese manuscript . . .

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