Introduction: The Landed Elite and Male Gender Identities over the <i>Longue Durée</i>

Henry French and Mark Rothery

in Man's Estate

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199576692
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738852 | DOI:
Introduction: The Landed Elite and Male Gender Identities over the Longue Durée

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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)


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The Introduction questions R. W. Connell's dominant model of ‘hegemonic masculinities’, particularly its capacity to explain changes in values over time. It suggests this model conflates two distinctive processes: the underlying hegemonic patriarchal distribution of power and authority in society, between men and women, or between different types of men, and less rigid, less constraining societal stereotypes about appropriate male and female behaviour at any point in time. Notions of ‘hegemonic masculinity’ have struggled to reconcile the former with the latter. Instead, this study distinguishes three causal layers: ‘deep’ largely unchanging values, such as ‘patriarchy’ or ‘virtue’; ‘conjunctural’ gender stereotypes, in which such profound ordering principles interacted with normative labels and short-hand categories, and provided diagnostics to allow social categorisation; daily life, in which these mid-level gender stereotypes were applied. These interactions are explored through the rest of the study.

Keywords: methodology; hegemony; social stereotypes; identity; patriarchy; values; causality

Chapter.  16372 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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