Accruing Masculinity Capital: Dominant and Hegemonic Masculinities in the 2004 Political Conventions


Cunningham, Sheryl, David Domke, Kevin Coe, Anna Fahey, and Nancy Van Leuven. 2013. “Accruing Masculinity Capital: Dominant and Hegemonic Masculinities in the 2004 Political Conventions.” Men and Masculinities 16 (5): 499-516.

Authors: Sheryl Cunningham , David Domke, Kevin Coe, Anna Fahey, Nancy Van Leuven


Scholarship in political communication and gender studies notes that concepts of presidential leadership and masculinity are deeply entwined in one another. Work is needed, though, on how performances of masculinity allow for the accrual of what we call masculinity capital, a linguistic form of masculinity that seems to become particularly significant and useful during times of threat and crisis in the United States. With this in mind, we undertook a content analysis to examine speeches from the 2004 presidential conventions of the Republican and Democratic parties in order to see how masculinity was discursively constructed as well as strategically employed. Our analysis indicates that public constructions of dominant masculinity were used by both political parties in order to shape party identity, and that a construction of hegemonic masculinity, which emasculated opponents by connecting them to femininity, was used by the Republican Party.

Topics: Gender, Masculinity/ies, Gendered Discourses, Governance, Elections Regions: Americas, North America Countries: United States of America

Year: 2013

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