Men and Masculinity

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Most human cultures, perhaps all, have accounts of gender relations, explaining and illustrating what it is to be a woman or a man, and how women and men are interrelated. The forms taken by these accounts vary greatlyancestor myths, moral exhortation, exemplary narratives, drama, social science, philosophical speculation, and visual imagery. In many, there is a specific account of the domain of men, the characteristic activities of men, and the psychological traits of manhood.

Stories of Men

The earliest surviving text of classical Greek civilization centers on the deeds of ruling-class men, informed by a conflict over men's rights to women. Homer's Iliad presents a vivid picture of a military encampment and a besieged city, with warrior-heroes roaming the countryside, carrying off women and occasionally massacring the population of a captured town. War is undoubtedly men's affair, and both courage and military skill are tests of manhood. The business of men in these stories is to rule, cultivate land, found cities, and fight. Greek legend includes warrior women, but they are exotic figures. The central women in Homer's tales are Helen, the wandering queen who was fought over by the men, and Andromache and Penelope, archetypes of domestic faithfulness.

Yet Homer is no admirer of pure brawn. The mighty but slow-witted Ajax is of limited interest in the Iliad and becomes almost a comic figure in later Greek literature. The hero Achilles is an invincible fighter but is at the center of the story precisely because he is also highly emotional, takes offense, and refuses to fight. The hero of the Odyssey is perfectly capable of slaughterPenelope's suitors ultimately get the same treatment as Helen's. But Odysseus is far more famous for his quick wit and his ability to talk his way out of trouble.

Attic drama of the fifth century b.c.e. tells a string of stories about men, power, and violence. They include the conscience-stricken Oedipus, the proud and rigid Creon, the vengeful Orestes, the prying Pentheus, and the faithless Jason. Classical Hellenic literature thus presents a spectrum of images of men. The texts complicate, and often call into question, the central image of the warrior-prince, which nevertheless remains an ideal, a point of reference.

It was the uncomplicated image of the warrior-prince that passed down into modern European tradition as an ideal of masculinity, reshaped by feudalism. In Sir Thomas Malory's fifteenth-century reworking of the Arthurian legends, for instance, the presumed context is always one of fighting or preparation for fighting. Although Malory's Morte D'Arthur presents variations in the style of warriorhoodsome of the knights are cool and others are hot-blooded, some are painfully honest and others treacherousskill in battle is always the vital test of the "worshipful" knight. Yeomen and villeins are another question to Malory, but among his elite, there is only one male character who is not part of the armed competition for "worship"the unaccountable prophet/witch Merlin. Arthur himself, it is easily forgotten, was a bastard even in the mainstream legend, and pulling a sword from an anvil was hardly an established form of royal election. He had to establish his claim to kingship by mass killings"passynge grete slaughtir," in Malory's phrasein a protracted civil war.

Historic images of warrior-heroes were handed down, and reworked as somewhat more widely available ideals, in European modernity. The point is made in a British popular song of the eighteenth or nineteenth century:

Some talk of Alexander, and some of Hercules,
Of Hector and Lysander, and such great names as these,
But of all the world's brave heroes, there's none that can compare,
With a tow row row, with a tow row row, to the British Grenadier.

So it had already been in Shakespeare, with his archetype-soldier,

Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel, Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon's mouth. (As You Like It, 2.7.150153)

Questioning Masculinity

The word masculine (as a synonym for male ) is a very old word in English. It was used by Chaucer in the fourteenth century. However, the terms masculinity, masculinize, and masculinism came into common use in English only in the late nineteenth century. This change in language signaled a rather different way of looking at men and their position in the world.

This change was part of the cultural response made, in the bourgeois society of the industrialized countries, to the women's suffrage movement, and to the broad challenge by first-wave feminism to Victorian-era patriarchy. The bourgeois society of imperial Europe (and its offshoots in colonies, notably in the United States) had taken the separation of men's and women's spheres to an extreme. It defined not only war as men's business but also property, knowledge, government, and, in many contexts, even waged work as such. In this context the concept of masculinity had a slightly conservative flavor, suggesting that social inequalities were rooted in permanent differences of the character of men and women. Many thinkers of the time assumed that these were based in the imperatives of biological evolution.

The term masculinity not only had antifeminist overtones, it had a clinical flavor as well. Femininity in men was seen as a source of sexual crime, especially (though not exclusively) homosexuality. Masculinity in women was also seen as a kind of pathology, especially threatening to their capacity to bear children.

From the start, however, this idea was contested. Not only women of the suffrage movement, but also men like John Stuart Mill (18061873) and Lester Ward (18411913) supported equality between women and men, convinced that social progress would iron out most of the differences between men's and women's lives (see the documentary history by Kimmel and Mosmiller).


In the next generation, the pioneering German educator Mathilde Vaerting (18841977) produced in The Dominant Sex (1923) perhaps the most revolutionary theory of gender ever written. She argued that masculinity and femininity were not fixed characteristics but reflected the fact that we lived in a male-dominated societya Männerstaat (men's state). In societies where women held power, she argued, men showed the very characteristics that Western bourgeois society saw as quintessentially feminine. Masculinity or masculine characteristics, to Vaerting, were thus not expressions of the male body, and had nothing whatever to do with evolutionary forces. They were the consequences of social power structure and of this alone.

Vaerting based her arguments on a social learning theory, common among progressive educators at the time. She traced gender patterns in institutions such as the legal system (anticipating a later generation of sociological research on gender). Among other consequences of her perspective was a remarkable prediction of the men's liberation movement, which appeared fifty years later.

Vaerting's ideas did attract some attention in the 1920s. But first-wave feminism was in decline, Vaerting lost her academic position when fascism came to power in Germany, and it was in other currents of thought that the questioning of masculinity was carried forward.


It was the work of the Austrian physician Sigmund Freud (18561939), more than anything else, that disrupted the apparently natural object "masculinity" and made an enquiry into the process of its construction possible.

Freud's ideas about masculinity developed in three steps. The first came in his initial statements of psychoanalytic principles: the idea of continuity between normal and neurotic mental life, the concepts of repression and the unconscious, and the method that allowed unconscious mental processes to be read through dreams, jokes, slips of the tongue, and symptoms. Freud understood that adult sexuality and gender were not fixed by nature but were constructed through a long and conflict-ridden process. The Oedipus complex, an emotional tangle of middle childhood involving desire for one parent and hatred for the other, was the key moment in this development. What precipitated the oedipal crisis, for boys, was rivalry with the father and terror of castration. Here Freud identified a formative moment in masculinity and pictured the dynamics of a formative relationship.

In his theoretical writing, Freud complicated this picture. Homosexuality, he argued, is not a simple gender switch, and "a large proportion of male inverts retain the mental quality of masculinity." Freud suggested that masculine and feminine currents coexist in everyone. Adult masculinity was a complex, and in some ways precarious, construction. In his longest case history, the "Wolf Man," Freud pushed behind the Oedipus complex to find a pre-oedipal, narcissistic masculinity that underpinned castration anxiety.

In a final stage, Freud developed his account of the structure of personality, in particular the concept of the superego, the unconscious agency that judges, censors, and presents ideals. The superego is formed, in the aftermath of the Oedipus complex, by internalized prohibitions from the parents. Freud gradually came to see it as having a gendered character, being crucially a product of the child's relationship with the father, and more distinct in the case of boys than of girls. This provided the germ of a theory of the patriarchal organization of culture, transmitted from one generation to the next through the construction of masculinity.


The potential in Freud's work for a radical critique of masculinity was apparent very early. It was taken up by Alfred Adler (18701937), a socialist psychiatrist convinced of the importance of social factors in disease. He was one of Freud's first and most important professional supporters but broke with him in 1911, partly over the analysis of masculinity.

Adler's argument started from the familiar polarity between masculinity and femininity but immediately emphasized the feminist point that one side of the polarity is devalued in culture and associated with weakness. Children of both sexes, being weak visà-vis adults, are thus forced to inhabit the feminine position. Submission and striving for independence occur together in a child's life, setting up an internal contradiction between masculinity and femininity. In normal development, some kind of balance is struck. But if there is weakness, there will be anxiety that motivates an exaggerated emphasis on the masculine side of things. This "masculine protest," in Adler's famous phrase, is central to neurosis, resulting in overcompensation in the direction of aggression and a restless striving for triumphs.

Adler considered the masculine protest to be active in both normal and neurotic mental life. The masculine protest was a feature of women's psychology as well as men's but was overdetermined by women's social subordination. In men it could become a public menace. Adler took a highly critical view of dominating masculinities, commenting on "the arch evil of our culture, the excessive pre-eminence of manliness."

World War I left Adler in no doubt about the connections between masculinity, power, and public violence. His 1927 book, Understanding Human Nature, made a clearer statement of a psychoanalytic case for gender equality than was found anywhere else until the 1970s.

Other Psychoanalysts

Other psychoanalysts contributed to the argument about femininity and masculinity, though none gave the issue so central a place. Karen Horney (18851952) pointed to the importance of "the dread of woman," originating in fear of the mother, in the depth psychology of men. Carl Jung (18751961) speculated in The Relations Between the Ego and the Unconscious that masculinity and femininity functioned as opposites within personality, in a kind of balance: "The repression of feminine traits and inclinations causes these contrasexual demands to accumulate in the unconscious" (p. 187). This idea, filtered through Jung's later theory of archetypes, resurfaced in the 1980s and became the key theme of a popular therapeutic movement in the United States.

After the 1920s, psychoanalysis moved far to the right on most issues, and discussion of the theory of gender was no exception. When psychoanalysts became popular writers on gender issues in the 1950s, their message identified mental health with gender orthodoxy. The course toward adult heterosexuality, which Freud had seen as a complex and fragile construction, was increasingly presented as a nonproblematic, natural path of development. Anything else was seen as a sign of pathology, especially homosexuality, which was declared inherently pathological, the product of disturbed parentchild relationships. Psychoanalysis as a practice became increasingly a technique of normalization and attempted to adjust its patients to the existing gender orderas is shown in Kenneth Lewes's excellent history of psychoanalytic ideas about male homosexuality. It was only after the impact of feminism in the 1970s that the critical potential in psychoanalytic ideas about gender was rediscovered.

Sex Differences and Ethnography

The first important attempt to create a social science of masculinity centered on the idea of a male sex role. Its origins go back to late-nineteenth-century debates about sex difference, when resistance to women's emancipation was bolstered by a scientific doctrine of innate sex difference. The first generation of women who entered U.S. research universities not only violated the doctrine of female mental inferiority, they also questioned its presuppositions by researching the differences in mental capacities between men and women. They found very few.

This scandalous result triggered an enormous volume of follow-up research, which has flowed from the 1890s to the present and covered not only mental abilities but also emotions, attitudes, personality traits, interestsindeed, everything that psychologists thought they could measure. The main results have not changed. Sex differences, on almost every psychological trait measured, are either nonexistent or fairly small. When groups of studies are aggregated by the statistical technique of meta-analysis, it is more likely to be concluded that some sex differences in psychological characteristics do exist. These, however, are often influenced by social circumstances.

The idea of a social interpretation of sex differences came principally from anthropology. This new discipline was, after psychoanalysis, the main intellectual force that relativized Western concepts of masculinity and femininity. Ethnographers such as Bronislaw Malinowski (18841942) and Margaret Mead (19011978) published detailed accounts of non-Western societies that were very widely read in the 1920s and 1930s. In these cultures, men and women were seen to behave in ways that were intelligible and consistent, yet very different from the patterns familiar in metropolitan bourgeois society. Mead's Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies (1935), in particular, showed men following radically different ideals of conduct in different cultural contexts. The models of heroic masculinity familiar in Western literature were, it seemed, specific to the West.

From anthropology, also, came the idea of the functional interrelatedness of a society and the idea of a social role within it. In the 1940s and 1950s these ideas were applied to sex difference research and gave birth to the term "sex role," which in time passed into everyday speech.

The Male Sex Role

The usual conception of "sex role" is that a man or a woman enacts a general set of expectations attached to their sex. There are always two sex roles in any cultural context, one male and the other female. Masculinity and femininity are quite easily interpreted as internalized sex roles, the products of socialization. The reason why this socialization occurs, according to structural-functionalist sociology and anthropology, is that it is necessary for the stability or reproduction of the society as a whole. Sex differences in behavior (which are persistently exaggerated in the sex role literature) are thus explained on the small scale by social learning, on the large scale by the functioning of society.

Most often, sex roles are seen as the cultural elaboration of underlying biological sex differences. But the idea of a biological base can be dispensed with. The most sophisticated statement of sex role theory was made in the mid-1950s by Talcott Parsons, the leading sociological theorist of the time. In Parsons's argument, the distinction between male and female sex roles is treated as a distinction between "instrumental" and "expressive" roles in the family (when considered as a small group).

The idea that masculinity is the internalized male sex role allows for social change. Change was a central theme in the first detailed discussions of the male sex role that appeared in U.S.. social science journals in the 1950s. The most notable was a paper by Helen Hacker called "The New Burdens of Masculinity," which suggested that expressive functions were now being added to instrumental functions. Men were thus expected to show interpersonal skills as well as being "sturdy oaks." For the most part, however, the first generation of sex role theorists assumed that the roles were well-defined, that socialization went ahead harmoniously, and that sex role learning was a thoroughly good thing. Successful internalization of sex role norms contributed to social stability, mental health, and the performance of necessary social functions.

Men's Liberation and the Critique of Sex Roles

The new feminism in the 1970s did not abandon the concept of sex roles, but it reevaluated their meaning. It was argued that the female sex role was inherently oppressive and that role internalization was a means of fixing girls and women in a subordinate position. Almost immediately, a parallel analysis of the male sex role appeared. By the mid-1970s there was a small but much-discussed men's liberation movement in the United States, and a small network of men's consciousness-raising groups in other developed countries as well. A minor publishing boom developed in books about the "problem" of men and also in papers in counseling and social science journals. Their flavor is indicated by one title: "Warning: The Male Sex Role May Be Dangerous to Your Health."

The picture of the male sex role in most of this literature was conventional and typically middle class, emphasizing traits such as inexpressiveness, orientation to careers, and competitiveness. Authors pointed to the role of commercial sports, such as football, in creating popular images of competitive, aggressive masculinity. They pointed to highly stereotyped representations of men in film and television genres such as the western, the war movie, the gangster movie, and the cop serial, not to mention advertisements such as the famous "Marlboro Man" campaign.

There was some attempt to outline a process of change. The American psychologist Joseph Pleck, one of the most prolific writers in this field, contrasted a traditional with a modern male role. Much of the writing in the United States in the 1970s encouraged men toward the modern version, recommending therapy, consciousness-raising groups, political discussion, role-sharing in marriage, or self-help.

By the 1980s, intellectual weaknesses in the sex role concept were acknowledged, and political divisions in the men's movement had become wide. The antisexist and profeminist tendency of the early men's liberation groups were contested by men's rights groups who were antagonistic to feminism and by a therapeutic movement that took a very different view of masculinity, partly based on a late revival of Jung. Political ambivalence was inherent in the framework of sex roles. There is a basic tendency in sex role theory to understand men's and women's positions as consensual and complementarya point made explicit by Parsons's theory of instrumental (masculine) and expressive (feminine) orientations. Attempts by Pleck and others to create a nonnormative sex role theory proved unsuccessful in the long run.

Gay Liberation and Queer Theory

The most effective political mobilization among men around gender and sexual politics was the gay liberation movement that took shape around 19681970 in the United States and eventually became worldwide. Gay men mobilizing for civil rights, personal safety, and cultural space have acted on the basis of a long experience of oppression by heterosexual men. The term homophobia was coined around 1970 to describe this experience. A central insight of gay liberation is the depth and pervasiveness of homophobia, closely connected with dominant forms of masculinity.

Straight men's homophobia involves real social practices, ranging from job discrimination to media vilification to imprisonment, and sometimes to murder. These practices draw social boundaries, defining approved masculinity by its difference from the rejected. Theorists such as Dennis Altman in Homosexual: Oppression and Liberation (1972) regarded the oppression of homosexuals as part of a larger enterprise of maintaining an authoritarian social order and often saw it as connected to the oppression of women. Yet gay men have also noticed a certain fascination with homosexuality on the part of straight men. This knowledge was behind the slogan "Every straight man is a target for gay liberation!"

Gay liberation coincided with the emergence of visible gay communities in many cities of the developed world. From the 1970s on, these communities have been the sites of public manifestations of gay identity, ranging from the election of gay politicians to street parties and gay pride marches. For example, by the 1990s the annual lesbian and gay Mardi Gras parade had become the most popular street event in the social life of Sydney, attracting a huge straight audience. Styles of self-presentation in gay communities have shifted with time, from traditional "camp" behavior to the parodic butch masculinity of the late-1970s "clones," changing again with the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, the diversification of sexual subcultures, and the rise of "queer" sensibility in the 1990s.

Gay liberation, both in theory and practice, made a crucial difference to contemporary thought about masculinity. Gay culture makes visible alternative ways of being a man. Gay politics responds to, and thus makes visible, oppressive gender relations between groups of men. Gay men's collective knowledge includes gender ambiguity, tension between bodies and identities, and contradictions in and around masculinity.

Many of these themes were picked up in queer theory, a new style of lesbian and gay theorizing that emerged under the influence of poststructuralism in the 1990s. In a diverse trend of thought rather than a formal body of doctrines, queer theorists have challenged the notion of fixed gender or sexual identities, thus challenging the basis of gay community politics. They have identified homoerotic subtexts throughout Western culture and have criticized feminist gender theory as being based on an unexamined heterosexism. Applied to men and masculinity, in texts such as David Buchbinder's Performance Anxieties (1998), queer theory questions the naturalness of the category "men" and sees masculine identity not as the settled foundation of behavior but as something always insecure, constantly being created in performance.

Social Construction

The contemporary field of masculinity research, alternatively known as men's studies or critical studies of men, was created when several impulses in the 1980s moved discussions decisively beyond the sex role framework. One was the continuing development of theories of gender, both structuralist and poststructuralist, which provided more sophisticated models of the gender relations in which men are located and masculinity is constituted.

A second impulse was provided when the coexistence of multiple masculinities was recognizeda move strongly influenced by gay thought. A third impulse was a new wave of empirical research in sociology, history, and cultural studies. This research has been very diverse in subject matter but has generally had a local character. Its main focus has been the construction of masculinity in a particular milieu or moment: a printing shop in Great Britain, a professional sports career in the United States, a group of colonial schools in South Africa, drinking groups in Australian bars, a working-class suburb in Brazil, or the marriage plans of young middle-class men in urban Japan. Its characteristic research style has been ethnographic, making use of participant observation, open-ended interviewing, or discursive analysis of texts in popular culture. The primary research task has been to give close descriptions of processes and outcomes in the local site. This body of research was systematized in the mid-1990s in R. W. Connell's Masculinities.

This "ethnographic moment" in masculinity research developed first in the English-speaking world, mainly in Australia, the United States, and Great Britain. In central and northern Europe, where feminist and gay research had also taken an early interest in the gender practices of men, there was more emphasis on survey research, such as the well-known "Brigitte study," based on a national survey in Germany in 19841985, sponsored by a women's magazine and conducted by feminist sociologists Sigrid Metz-Göckel and Ursula Mueller. There was also a focus on the ways men are positioned in relation to gender equity policies, a concern that has continued in Scandinavia to the present. The results of this great social experiment have recently been drawn together by the Norwegian sociologist Oeystein Holter, emphasizing that in favorable circumstances men can and do change their gender practices. In the same region, an interest developed in using masculinity research to uncover the roots of violence, which in recent years has become one of the most important fields of application of masculinity research internationally.

The picture that emerged from this research differed significantly from older ideas of the male sex role and even more from conceptions of "natural" masculinity. One of the key achievements of this research was to document the diversity of masculinities. There is not just one pattern of masculinity, good in all times and places. Different cultures vary, some being much more peaceable than others. Within a single societyeven within a single community or institutionthere will be different patterns of masculinity, different recognizable ways of "being a man." Just as we now recognize the diversity of family forms, so we also now recognize that there are likely to be different constructions of masculinity in different social class settings, different ethnic communities, and different regions.

Hegemonic Masculinity

But different masculinities do not sit side by side as alternative lifestyles that men can freely choose. There are definite relationships between different masculinities. Most importantly, there are relationships of hierarchy and exclusion. In most communities there is a specific pattern of masculinity that is more respected than others. The hegemonic pattern of masculinity is often associated with national identity, celebrated in popular films and sports, presented as an ideal to the young, and constantly used as a basis of advertising. Other patterns of masculinity exist but do not attract the same respectindeed, some forms of masculinity are actively stigmatized.

A good deal of debate has surrounded the concept of "hegemonic" masculinity. In some usages, it has turned into the concept of a fixed identity or stereotype, not very different from the old model of the male sex role. In others, however, it is recognized that only a minority of men actually embody a hegemonic model. Yet the hierarchy around this version of masculinity can be an important source of conflict and violence among men.

Recent social research also stresses that masculinity exists not only as a pattern of personal life, but also impersonally in communities, institutions, and cultures. Collective definitions of manhood are generated in community life, and are likely to be contestedand changeas the situation of a community changes, for instance with the decline of industrial employment or changing definitions of marriage, such as attempts in the early years of the twenty-first century to include same-sex domestic partnerships or gay marriage within the legal systems of some of the developed countries. Organizations such as armies and corporations embed particular hegemonic patterns in their organizational cultures, and mass media circulate particular icons of masculinity while discrediting others.

Historical and sociological research has produced convincing evidence that masculinities change over time. Men's patterns of conduct, and beliefs about gender issues, do not change with dramatic speed. But research has shown significant generational shifts, for instance in sexual behavior, and in beliefs about men's and women's roles in society.

Change is to be expected because of the contradictions and tensions in gender relations. These give rise to a complex field of masculinity politicsmobilizations among different groups of men, some of them challenging for the hegemonic position in the local gender order, some defending more limited agendas. This conception is crystallized by Michael Messner in The Politics of Masculinities (1997).

Global Perspectives

Until recently, most of the research on, and debate about, masculinity has been about men in First World countries. We need to think beyond this context; and even within it, we need to consider the situation of local masculinities in a global context. Global history and contemporary globalization must be part of our understanding of masculinities. Individual lives are powerfully influenced by geopolitical struggles, imperialism and colonialism, global markets, multinational corporations, labor migration, and transnational media. Not only ethnographic but postcolonial studies are important for understanding the cultural dynamics of contemporary masculinities.

There has been some research on immigrant men in First World contexts. However, up to the 1980s little research was carried out on masculinities in Third World and/or postcolonial countries, and what was done was affected by Eurocentrism. In his excellent ethnographic study of men in Mexico City, The Meanings of Macho (1996), Matthew Gutmann criticizes the tendency of Anglo researchers to characterize Latino men as "macho." More recent studies have acknowledged the great variety of masculinities throughout the Latin American world. For example, a remarkable series of studies coordinated by José Olavarría, focused in Chile but involving researchers in other countries, has documented diversity in relation to identity, fatherhood, violence, and sexuality. Olavarría's exploration of the dilemmas of Chilean youth as they attempt to construct a path toward fatherhood in a country undergoing globalization is particularly important.

More work is now being done in other regions outside the metropolefor example, by Japanese and Middle Eastern scholars. The importance of race and class in shaping gender patterns is strikingly shown in southern Africa. By the late 1990s, South Africa had the highest rates of violent death and rape in the world, the second highest number of gun-related homicides, and one of the world's highest rates of HIV infection. These are connected with a turbulent gender politics in which different patriarchies contest, and different agendas for reform are found. South African masculinities, as shown by Robert Morrell's collection, Changing Men in Southern Africa (2001), are both diverse and contested.

In the contexts of the developing world, as Morrell points out, gender work on men and masculinities must focus on very different issues from those in the developed world. For this reason, researchers in postcolonial contexts do not necessarily adopt theories of hegemonic masculinity or of new masculinities on the Western model. The idea of the "new man" popular in First World media has little relevance beyond the lives of such white, middle-class, urban men. How to make use of the new research is still uncertain. A controversy has developed about how men ought to be included in research and policy about gender and development. As Sarah White shows in a recent review of the argument, complex political issues arise here in a field that has sought, with some recent success, to place women's interests on the agenda of development agencies.

Attention is now being turned to the patterns of masculinity in transnational agencies and institutions. There is some reason to think that older models of bourgeois masculinity, embedded in local ruling classes and conservative cultures, are being replaced by a transnational business masculinity. Compared with older hegemonic masculinities, the new model is more individualist, liberal in relation to sexuality and social attitudes, and oriented to power through markets rather than through bureaucratic domination. This model has been criticized, and plainly the interplay of masculinity with globalization needs much more investigation.

At the same time, as the return to military intervention abroad by the U.S. government suggests, there is cultural and political space for a reassertion of "hard" masculinities. The unevenness and relentlessness of change on a world scale are well captured in the 2001 volume A Man's World? Changing Men's Practices in a Globalized World, edited by Bob Pease and Keith Pringle. The issues reviewed in this article are currently the subject of active debate and research, with global issues an important focus.

See also Anthropology ; Character ; Cultural Studies ; Equality ; Gender ; Identity: Personal and Social Identity ; Machismo ; Natural Law ; Queer Theory .


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R. W. Connell