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Masculinity/ies

Putin, Erdoğan and Politicized Masculinity in a Global Context

Elizabeth Wood

March 27, 2018

Campus Center, 3rd floor, Room 3540, UMass Boston

Russian and Turkish Presidents Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have both developed extensive playbooks of performed, political masculinity. These combinations of speech acts, visual photo-ops, and interpersonal dramas have served to show them as simultaneously democratic (because they look like the average man) and autocratic (because they seem to dominate all other men). In this talk I will explore some of the ways that politicized masculinity serves as a kind of glue that holds together their popular appeal and their authoritarianism.

This event is being cosponsored by the UMass Boston Global Governance and Human Security PhD Program; Department of Political Science; Department of History; Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy; Honors College; and Department of Anthropology.

Elizabeth A. Wood is Professor of Russian and Soviet History at MIT, where she also directs the Russian Studies Program.  Her books include The Baba and the Comrade: Gender and Politics in Revolutionary Russia (1997); Performing Justice: Agitation Trials in Early Soviet Russia (Cornell University Press, 2005); and Roots of Russia’s War in Ukraine (coauthored) (Woodrow Wilson Center/Columbia University Press, 2016). Recently she has been working on Vladimir Putin’s scenarios of power.  

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Successful Girls? Complicating Post-Feminist, Neoliberal Discourses of Educational Achievement and Gender Equality

Citation:

Ringrose, Jessica. 2007. “Successful Girls? Complicating Post-Feminist, Neoliberal Discourses of Educational Achievement and Gender Equality.” Gender & Education 19 (4): 471–89.

Author: Jessica Ringrose

Abstract:

This paper examines how an ongoing educational panic over failing boys has contributed to a new celebratory discourse about successful girls. Rather than conceive of this shift as an anti-feminist feminist backlash, the paper examines how the successful girl discourse is postfeminist, and how liberal feminist theory has contributed to narrowly conceived, divisive educational debates and policies where boys' disadvantage/success are pitted against girls' disadvantage/success. The paper illustrates that gender-only and gender binary conceptions of educational achievement are easily recuperated into individualizing neo-liberal discourses of educational equality, and consistently conceal how issues of achievement in school are related to issues of class, race, ethnicity, religion, citizenship and location. Some recent media examples that illustrate the intensification of the successful girl discourse are examined. It is argued that the gender and achievement debate fuels a seductive postfeminist discourse of girl power, possibility and choice with massive reach, where girls' educational performance is used as evidence that individual success is attainable and educational policies are working in contexts of globalization, marketization and economic insecurity. The new contradictory work of 'doing' successful femininity, which requires balancing traditional feminine and masculine qualities, is also considered. (Abstract from original)

Topics: Education, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Globalization, Privatization

Year: 2007

Masculinities and Globalization

Citation:

Connell, R. W. 1998. “Masculinities and Globalization.” Men and Masculinities 1 (1): 3–23.

Author: R.W. Connell

Abstract:

Recent social science research has made important changes in our understanding of masculinities and men's gender practices, emphasizing the plurality and hierarchy of masculinities, and their collective and dynamic character. These gains have been achieved mainly by close-focus research methods. But in a globalizing world, we must pay attention also to very large scale structures. An understanding of the world gender order is a necessary basis for thinking about men and masculinities globally. We can trace the emergence of globalizing masculinities at different stages of the history of the world gender order. Hegemony in the contemporary gender order is connected with patterns of trade, investment, and communication dominated by the North. A transnational business masculinity, institutionally based in multinational corporations and global finance markets, is arguably the emerging dominant form on a world scale. (Abstract from original)

Topics: Gender, Masculinity/ies, Globalization, Multi-national Corporations

Year: 1998

What’s the Problem with the Concept of Military Masculinities?

Citation:

Zalewski, Marysia. 2017. “What’s the Problem with the Concept of Military Masculinities?” Critical Military Studies 3 (2): 200-5.

Author: Marysia Zalewski

Abstract:

This think piece queries the value of the concept of military masculinities. This overly familiar and comfortable concept is perhaps falling short of its intended ambitions. Masculinized and militarized violence is rampant and no amount of ‘adding women’ (or other ‘others’) seems to make a difference. This begs the question of how much work we imagine concepts can do, as well as how much control we think we have over them.

Keywords: concepts, masculinities, violence, gender

Topics: Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Gender Roles, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Violence

Year: 2017

Re-Thinking Hegemonic Masculinities in Conflict-Affected Contexts

Citation:

Myrttinen, Henri, Lana Khattab and Jana Naujoks. 2017. “Re-Thinking Hegemonic Masculinities in Conflict-Affected Contexts.” Critical Military Studies 3 (2): 103-19.

Authors: Henri Myrttinen, Lana Khattab, Jana Naujoks

Abstract:

Masculinities in conflict-affected and peacebuilding contexts have generally speaking been under-researched. Much of the existing research focuses relatively narrowly on men and their ‘violences’, especially that of combatants. Conceptually, much of the policy debate has revolved around either men’s ‘innate’ propensity to violence or relatively simplistic uses of frameworks such as hegemonic, military/militarized, or ‘hyper’-masculinities. These discourses have often been reinforced and reproduced without relating them to their respective local historical, political, and socio-economic contexts. In academic circles, the discussion is more advanced and progressive, but this has yet to filter through to on-the-ground work. Considering the overwhelming role men play in producing and reproducing conflict-related and other forms of violence, a better understanding of the links between masculinities and violence – as well as non-violence – should be central to examining gender, conflict, and peace. Nonetheless, currently a large part of masculinities are side-lined in research, such as those of non-combatants or displaced persons, the associated challenges of ‘thwarted masculinities’, or the positive agency of peacebuilders. Non-heterosexual masculinities also are largely invisible. Based on recent multi-country field research, we aim to highlight some of the under-researched issues revolving around conflict-affected masculinities while also discussing some conceptual challenges arising as a result. Our two key arguments are that the notion of ‘hegemonic masculinities’ in conflict-affected situations needs to be re-examined and re-articulated in more nuanced ways, and that the scope of studying masculinities in these situations needs to be broadened to go beyond merely examining the violences of men.

Keywords: masculinities, conflict, peacebuilding

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Gender, Men, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Discourses, conflict, peace and security, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Nonviolence, Peacebuilding, Violence

Year: 2017

Combat as a Moving Target: Masculinities, the Heroic Soldier Myth, and Normative Martial Violence

Citation:

Millar, Katharine M. and Joanna Tidy. 2017. “Combat as a Moving Target: Masculinities, the Heroic Soldier Myth, and Normative Martial Violence.” Critical Military Studies 3 (2): 142-60.

Authors: Katharine M. Millar, Joanna Tidy

Abstract:

This article problematizes the conceptualization and use of ‘combat’ within critical scholarship on masculinities, militaries, and war. We trace, firstly, how combat appears as an empirical category within traditional war studies scholarship, describing an ostensibly self-evident physical practice. We then examine how feminist and gender approaches – in contrast – reveal ‘combat’ as a normative imagination of martial violence. This imagination of violence is key to the constitution of the masculine ideal, and normalization of military force, through the heroic soldier myth. We argue, however, that despite this critical impulse, much of feminist and gender analysis exhibits conceptual ‘slippage’: combat is still often treated as a ‘common-sense’ empirical category – a thing that ‘is’ – in masculinities theorizing. This treatment of gendered-imaginary-as- empirics imports a set of normative investments that limit the extent to which the heroic soldier myth, and the political work that it undertakes, can be deconstructed. As a consequence, whilst we know how masculinities are constituted in relation to ‘combat’, we lack the corollary understanding of how masculinities constitute combat, and how the resulting imagination sustains military authority and the broader social acceptance of war. We argue that unpacking these dynamics and addressing this lacuna is key to the articulation of a meaningfully ‘critical’ gender and military studies.

Keywords: combat, military masculinities, critical, soldiers, violence

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Analysis, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militarization

Year: 2017

Gendered Patterns of Mobilization and Recruitment for Political Violence, Experiences from Three Latin American Countries

Citation:

Dietrich Ortega, Luisa Maria. 2012. “Gendered Patterns of Mobilization and Recruitment for Political Violence, Experiences from Three Latin American Countries.” In Understanding Collective Political Violence, 84–104. Conflict, Inequality and Ethnicity. Palgrave Macmillan: London.

Author: Luisa Maria Dietrich Ortega

Abstract:

Over the past decades a feminist perspective on international relations, security studies and conflict has broadened the scope of the field.1 Troubled by the absence of women as research objects and subjects, feminist scholars have started to ask different questions and to employ alternative methodologies in order to unveil gendered distortions, namely, male bias and gender-neutral appearance. Both are inherent in the study of political violence and mobilization research. Male bias is deeply rooted in the study of political violence, which centres on male-connoted concepts such as nation-states, war, military and armed groups and predominantly male actors, such as presidents, soldiers, rebel leaders, presuming a connection between violence and masculinities. Thus, a worldview that equates male experiences to the norm continually reproduces a male value system that excludes women from conventional accounts of political violence and constructs a symbolic ‘woman’ as deviant from or in respect to male-as-norm criteria (Ackerly et al. 2006: 4; Peterson and True 1998: 15). Due to the absence of women from conflict narratives, the invisibility of gender regimes operating in the context of conflict, mainstream scholars maintain the normative fiction that conflicts are gender-free (Ní Aoláin and Rooney 2007: 342). (Abstract from Springer)

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gender Analysis, Violence, Weapons /Arms Regions: Americas, South America

Year: 2012

Contested Communities: Class, Gender, and Politics in Chile’s El Teniente Copper Mine, 1904-1951

Citation:

Thomas Miller Klubock. 1998. Contested Communities: Class, Gender, and Politics in Chile’s El Teniente Copper Mine, 1904-1951. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Author: Thomas Miller Klubock

Annotation:

In Contested Communities Thomas Miller Klubock analyzes the experiences of the El Teniente copper miners during the first fifty years of the twentieth century. Describing the everyday life and culture of the mining community, its impact on Chilean politics and national events, and the sense of self and identity working-class men and women developed in the foreign-owned enclave, Klubock provides important insights into the cultural and social history of Chile.
 
Klubock shows how a militant working-class community was established through the interplay between capitalist development, state formation, and the ideologies of gender. In describing how the North American copper company attempted to reconfigure and reform the work and social-cultural lives of men and women who migrated to the mine, Klubock demonstrates how struggles between labor and capital took place on a gendered field of power and reconstituted social constructions of masculinity and femininity. As a result, Contested Communities describes more accurately than any previous study the nature of grassroots labor militancy, working-class culture, and everyday politics of gender relations during crucial years of the Chilean Popular Front in the 1930s and 1940s. (Summary from Duke University Press)

Topics: Class, Development, Economies, Extractive Industries, Gender, Masculinity/ies, Femininity/ies, Gendered Power Relations, Militarism Regions: Americas, South America Countries: Chile

Year: 1998

Beyond the Hegemonic in the Study of Militaries, Masculinities, and War

Citation:

Chisholm, Amanda, and Joanna Tidy. 2017. “Beyond the Hegemonic in the Study of Militaries, Masculinities, and War.” Critical Military Studies 3 (2): 99-102.

Authors: Amanda Chisholm, Joanna Tidy

Annotation:

"This special issue advances what we identify as an emerging curiosity within accounts of military masculinities. This curiosity concerns the silences within and disruptions to our well-established and perhaps too comfortable understandings of and empirical focal points for military masculinities, gender, and war. The special issue is situated within emerging critiques of military masculinities. Scholars such as Stachowitsch (2015), Richter-Montpetit (2007), Howell (2007), and Belkin (2012) all expand where we locate gendered militarist logics of war and its various contestations. In common with these scholars, the contributors to this special issue trouble the ease with which we might be tempted to synonymize militaries, war, and a neat, ‘hegemonic’ masculinity. Taking the disruptions, the asides, and the silences seriously, we claim, challenges the common wisdoms of military masculinities, gender, and war in productive and necessary ways" (Chishom and Tidy, 2017, p. 99).

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Masculinity/ies, conflict, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Militarism

Year: 2017

Clients, Contractors, and the Everyday Masculinities in Global Private Security

Citation:

Chisholm, Amanda. 2017. “Clients, Contractors, and the Everyday Masculinities in Global Private Security.” Critical Military Studies 3 (2): 120-41.

Author: Amanda Chisholm

Abstract:

This article explores the intimate relationships between the client and the security contractor. It draws upon autoethnography to bring into focus the client/contractor encounters and demonstrate how such encounters (re)shape the marginal and hegemonic men/ masculinities of the security industry – masculinities which work to legitimize not only who and what are appropriate security providers but also how value/valuation of security is understood and practised. As such it contributes to the broader debates about gender and war by (1) demonstrating how the researcher is always embedded in and shaped by the research she produces; and (2) by bringing to the fore the multitude of masculinities, beyond the hegemonic militarized, that emerge in private security markets.

Keywords: autoethnography, military, militarization, private military and security companies, masculinities, feminist political economy

Topics: Gender, Masculinity/ies, Livelihoods, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Private Military & Security, Political Economies Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Afghanistan

Year: 2017

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