Article

Masculinity

Michael Kimmel and Tristan Bridges

in Sociology

ISBN: 9780199756384
Published online July 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199756384-0033
Masculinity

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  • Sociology
  • Comparative and Historical Sociology
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  • Social Movements and Social Change
  • Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility
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Masculinities studies is a vibrant, interdisciplinary field of study broadly concerned with the social construction of what it means to “be a man.” Masculinities scholars study the social role and meanings of masculinities. A vast majority of scholarship dealing with gender inequality focuses on women and the ways that they are structurally and systematically subordinated to men and disadvantaged. Scholars of inequality note, however, that there are two sides to inequality: disadvantage and privilege. Masculinities scholars study the various ways that men are—as a group—privileged, as well as focusing on the costs of those privileges and the ways in which not all men are granted equal access to them. “Masculinity” refers to the behaviors, social roles, and relations of men within a given society as well as the meanings attributed to them. The term masculinity stresses gender, unlike male, which stresses biological sex. Thus studies of masculinities need not be confined to biological males. Masculinity studies is a feminist-inspired, interdisciplinary field that emerged in the last few decades of the 20th century as a topic of study. It deals with the diversity of identities, behaviors, and meanings that occupy the label masculine and does not assume that they are universal. Thus scholars of masculinity often refer to masculinities in the plural to highlight the diversity of meanings, roles, and behaviors consumed in the term. Despite the fact that gender is often experienced as intensely personal—an internal facet of our identity—masculinities are produced and reproduced through the course of our daily interactions as well as within the larger institutions of society. This bibliography provides resources and an introductory overview of historical studies of masculinity, theories of masculinity and gender inequality, the relationship between masculinity and sexuality, the literature dealing with diverse men’s movements, and a summary of findings within various social institutions (education, the family, the workplace, sport, and the media).

Article.  12411 words. 

Subjects: Sociology ; Comparative and Historical Sociology ; Economic Sociology ; Gender and Sexuality ; Health, Illness, and Medicine ; Population and Demography ; Race and Ethnicity ; Social Movements and Social Change ; Social Stratification, Inequality, and Mobility ; Social Theory

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