Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 16

Search results for: masculinities

16 Ghanaian Men and the Performance of Masculinity: Negotiating Gender-Based Violence in Contemporary Ghana

Authors: Isaac Dery

Abstract:

Masculinity studies have gained much purchase globally in recent decades, especially the sense in which they have produced discursive space for interdisciplinary investigations. In the light of this, there is increasing consensus among commentators that different masculinities co-exist within a particular social space. There is also a growing recognition and awareness of the merits in examining the conceptual underpinnings of masculinity (especially hegemonic masculinity) its variously contested meanings, and values, and how it contributes to violent behaviours by men. The consequences of hegemonic masculinity and its violent and traumatic impacts on men and women have been evident. The emerging call to imagine more egalitarian and complex masculinities among men has been at the centre of various discussions on the fight against violence. Some theorists argue that this violence emanates from men’s drive to live up to impossible ideals of “masculinity.” Seeking to make the connections between masculinity and gender-based violence, this paper discusses the imperative and possibilities of engaging men/boys as key actors in the campaign against violence. It is worth re-examining the ways in which men’s embodiment and performance of dangerous masculinities contribute towards violence. This paper therefore argues that empowering men to understand the implications of certain behaviours is the key in an attempt to arrest violence and its traumatic cost. This paper is situated within the thesis that there is a relationship between men’s embodiment and performance of dominant forms of masculinities, on the one hand, and violence against women and other men, on the other. Based on research conducted in northern Ghana on domestic violence, it is the argument of this paper that in order to contain violence against women, conditions of gender construction need to be problematized in a manner that will transform fundamental understandings of gender relations in society.

Keywords: violence against women, masculinities, Ghana, gender

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15 Men and Feminism: Social Constructions of Masculinities in Relation to the Feminist Movement

Authors: Leonardo Dias Cruz

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The advent of web 2.0 has enabled users to engage in translocal and transtemporal interactions in which meanings can be constantly (re)constructed. The fluidity of such interactions in the time-space spectrum makes it evident that D/discourses are always in movement and that here-and-now discursive practices are always linked to macro Discourses in social structures. Considering these assumptions, this study aims at exploring the social construction of masculinities in light of feminist D/discourses in online interactions. The data used are a series of comments from readers of articles posted in a website for (projected) male audiences. In order to approach the movable and fluid nature of such interactions, I examine the data through the lens of processes of entextualization, social positioning and indexical cues. The analysis explores the interactions as social arenas in which struggles for the control over entextualization processes are clearly noticeable. Moreover, two main stances are perceived: one that legitimates male’s participation in Feminism and one that rejects such participation.

Keywords: entextualization, feminism, masculinities, positionings

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14 Twenty-First Century Masculinities in Popular Romance Genre

Authors: Eirini Arvanitaki

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The popular romance novel has the ability to withstand the test of time by carefully adjusting its contents to the twenty-first century and modern society. At the same time, it manages to preserve unaltered its traditional foundations (heteronormativity, heterosexual love, monogamy). This paper focuses on the projection of the hero’s masculinity in a selection of post-millennial popular romance narratives and attempts to discover if, and to what extent, this projection reinforces or challenges patriarchal ideas about gender. In the majority of these narratives, the hero is often presented as a hegemonic alpha male. However, hegemonic masculinity is not a fixed concept. Rather, it is subject to continuous change, which allows for the emergence of various dominant masculinities. With this in mind, and through a close textual analysis approach and a gender reading of romance narratives, the paper suggests that to a certain extent, the romance hero could be described as a platform onto which different forms of dominant masculinity are displayed and highlights that these masculinities do not necessarily clash, depend on, or function as a prerequisite for each other.

Keywords: gender, literary projections, masculinity, twenty-first century popular romance narratives

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13 Influences of Emerging Beauty Industry for Men on Construction of Masculinities of Male Students of Dhaka City

Authors: Abu Saleh Mohammad Sowad

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Back in history, muscular and strong male body has always been used to promulgate masculinity; for physically representing supreme manliness there were not many other options. This idealized male figure was proliferated mainly for spreading the notion of male superiority in relation to power and to give a strong base to the social construction of masculinity. This study targets to disclose the perception about the attributes masculinities among the male students of Dhaka city regarding male beautification. It is an attempt to unveil young men’s perspectives regarding their masculinities and beauty. Till the very recent past, beauty was always seen as sole feminine trait in Bangladeshi society. From history we can see men have always been assumed as the ambassador of roughness but in recent time the emergence of fashion-conscious men can be seen, who are slowly occupying a handsome position in the society. Concerning study attempts to bring out the way in which such changing trend of male beauty is perceived among the male students of Dhaka city. What could be the ideologies of these young men who are being involved with it? What is influencing them to be part of such arena which, to a great extent, is still considered as female domain? Is their perception about construction of masculinity is shifting from the so called idealized masculinity? The study tries to find out the answers.

Keywords: masculinity, male beauty, Bangladesh, identity, body

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12 Male Bodies and Philosophy of Sexual Difference: A Sketch for an Impossible 'Becoming-Man'

Authors: Ovidiu Anemtoaicei

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This paper offers a possible answer to the question of what it means to think about men and masculinities through the philosophy of sexual difference as developed by Luce Irigaray, employing Gilles Deleuze’s concept of 'critique' and arguing, at the same time, for a concept of 'becoming-man' as an expression of this answer. First, while examining the nature of the role of male bodies underlying the theorizing of men and masculinities in the field of the Critical Studies of Men and Masculinities, the paper argues for a turn to sexual difference theory as an answer to the 'gap' between the representations on male bodies and their participation in thought and masculine subjective production. Secondly, sharing Luce Irigaray’s critique of Western thought, the paper explores alternative morphological bodily 'locations' for rethinking male imaginary in relation to male embodiments, on the one hand, and in relation to the maternal and the feminine, on the other hand. Thirdly, the paper develops the idea that a phenomenologically-influenced approach towards male bodies might be productive, especially when thought through Irigaray’s sexual difference as a relational and experiential ontology. Finally, while showing that Irigaray and Deleuze share a similar critique of Western philosophical thought and of the masculine historical subject, it proposes a rethinking of the concept of 'becoming-man' as an assemblage meeting between Irigaray’s theory of sexual difference and Deleuze and Guattari’s nomadologic project, as a possibility of thinking change in men’s masculine subjective constitution in relation to both women and other men. As far as the ethical implications of such rethinking are concerned, the paper urges for the cultivation of a masculine culture of stepping back and its constitutive political, social and cultural practices so as to make possible the construction of new spaces that would allow for the becoming of at least two subjects based on the respect for their differences.

Keywords: feminist philosophy, male bodies, masculinities, phenomenology, sexual difference

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11 Women-Hating Masculinities: How the Demand for Prostitution Fuels Sex Trafficking

Authors: Rosa M. Senent

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Over the centuries, prostitution has been problematized from many sides, with women always at the center of the debate. However, prostitution is a gendered, demand-driven phenomenon. Thus, a focus must be put on the men who demand it, as an increasing number of studies have been done in the last few decades. The purpose of this paper is to expose how men's discourse online reveals the link between their demand for paid sex in prostitution and sex trafficking. The methodological tool employed was Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA). A critical analysis of sex buyers' discourse online showed that online communities of sex buyers are a useful tool in researching their behavior towards women, that their knowledge of sex trafficking and exploitation do not work as a deterrent for them to buy sex, and that the type of masculinity that sex buyers endorse is characterized by attitudes linked to the perpetuation of violence against women.

Keywords: masculinities, prostitution, sex trafficking, violence

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10 Constructing Masculinity through Images: Content Analysis of Lifestyle Magazines in Croatia

Authors: Marija Lončar, Zorana Šuljug Vučica, Magdalena Nigoević

Abstract:

Diverse social, cultural and economic trends and changes in contemporary societies influence the ways masculinity is represented in a variety of media. Masculinity is constructed within media images as a dynamic process that changes slowly over time and is shaped by various social factors. In many societies, dominant masculinity is still associated with authority, heterosexuality, marriage, professional and financial success, ethnic dominance and physical strength. But contemporary media depict men in ways that suggest a change in the approach to media images. The number of media images of men, which promote men’s identity through their body, have increased. With the male body more scrutinized and commodified, it is necessary to highlight how the body is represented and which visual elements are crucial since the body has an important role in the construction of masculinities. The study includes content analysis of male body images in the advertisements of different men’s and women’s lifestyle magazines available in Croatia. The main aim was to explore how masculinities are currently being portrayed through body regarding age, physical appearance, fashion, touch and gaze. The findings are also discussed in relation to female images since women are central in many of the processes constructing masculinities and according to the recent conceptualization of masculinity. Although the construction of male images varies through body features, almost all of them convey the message that men’s identity could be managed through manipulation and by enhancing the appearance. Furthermore, they suggest that men should engage in “bodywork” through advertised products, activities and/or practices, in order to achieve their preferred social image.

Keywords: body images, content analysis, lifestyle magazines, masculinity

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9 Gendered Violence Against Female Students Who Drink Alcohol: Perspectives Of South African Male University Students

Authors: Shakila Singh

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Research on gender, sexual risk, and gender violence at universities has found alcohol to be a significant contributor. Studies from universities around the world suggest that drinking at universities is characterised by excess. However, not much attention has been given to the connections that students make between alcohol and violence. In this qualitative study, alcohol-fuelled violence against female students from the perspectives of male students themselves is analysed. In-depth individual interviews were conducted with ten volunteer undergraduate male students who reside in university residences. The findings reveal that alcohol continues to be seen as a masculine privilege. Male students explain that they use alcohol to give them the courage to perform hegemonic heterosexual masculinities. They use alcohol to enhance their capacity to control women. At the same time, they hold alcohol responsible for their loss of control when drunk. Male students also exploit alcohol as currency to coerce women into submission of sexual favours. By blaming alcohol for any deviant behaviour, they relinquish themselves from the responsibility of violating female students. The paper argues that violence prevention efforts in educational contexts must address the ways in which alcohol shapes the experience of gender, sexuality, and violence.

Keywords: alcohol-related violence, gender, and alcohol, hegemonic masculinities, university students

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8 Young People, Well-Being and Risk-Taking: Doing Gender in Relation to Health and Heavy Drinking

Authors: Jukka Torronen

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Introduction: Alcohol consumption and health are areas where gender binaries have persisted. By intoxication, men have displayed their masculinity as strong, while matters of health have formed a feminine undertaking. However, in recent years young people’s alcohol consumption has declined and been challenged by competing activities, including the rising health trend. This makes the comparison of young people’s masculinities and femininities in health and heavy drinking an important case to study. Methods: The data consists of semi-structured interviews about alcohol, health, and leisure activities among young people aged between 15 and 19 (N=56). By drawing on Butler’s work on “gender as performative” and Connell’s understanding of gendered identities as “configurations of practices,” the paper analyzes how the interviewees are doing masculinities and femininities in relation to health and heavy drinking, and how their gender performances are dichotomous, naturalized and contested. Results: The interviewees approach health from two perspectives, which are called “social health” and “physical health” approaches. They are both gendered. Especially in the “social health” approach, in which intoxication and risk-taking are used to increase well-being, the interviewees perform stereotypical gender binaries. The interviewees’ gendered performances in the “physical health” approach show more variability and are more reflective and critical. In contrast to intoxication, in relation to which the interviewees perform biologically driven gender binaries, they perform culturally driven genders in relation to health. Conclusions: Health seems to provide for the interviewees a field in which they feel more liberated to perform flexible and alternative genders.

Keywords: young people, decline in drinking, qualitative interviews, gender, health, risk-taking

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7 Men of Congress in Today’s Brazil: Ethnographic Notes on Neoliberal Masculinities in Support of Bolsonaro

Authors: Joao Vicente Pereira Fernandez

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In the context of a democratic crisis, a new wave of authoritarianism prompts domineering male figures to leadership posts worldwide. Although the gendered aspect of this phenomenon has been reasonably documented, recent studies have focused on high-level commanding posts, such as those of president and prime-minister, leaving other positions of political power with limited attention. This natural focus of investigation, however powerful, seems to have restricted our understanding of the phenomenon by precluding a more thorough inquiry of its gendered aspects and its consequences for political representation as a whole. Trying to fill this gap, in recent research, we examined the election results of Jair Bolsonaro’s party for the Legislative Branch in 2018. We found that the party's proportion of non-male representatives was on average, showing it provided reasonable access of women to the legislature in a comparative perspective. However, and perhaps more intuitively, we also found that the elected members of Bolsonaro’s party performed very gendered roles, which allowed us to draw the first lines of the representative profiles gathered around the new-right in Brazil. These results unveiled new horizons for further research, addressing topics that range from the role of women for the new-right on Brazilian institutional politics to the relations between these profiles of representatives, their agendas, and political and electoral strategies. This article aims to deepen the understanding of some of these profiles in order to lay the groundwork for the development of the second research agenda mentioned above. More specifically, it focuses on two out of the three profiles that were grasped predominantly, if not entirely, from masculine subjects during our last research, with the objective of portraying the masculinity standards mobilized and promoted by them. These profiles –the entrepreneur and the army man – were chosen to be developed due to their proximity to both liberal and authoritarian views, and, moreover, because they can possibly represent two facets of the new-right that were integrated in a certain way around Bolsonaro in 2018, but that can be reworked in the future. After a brief introduction of the literature on masculinity and politics in times of democratic crisis, we succinctly present the relevant results of our previous research and then describe these two profiles and their masculinities in detail. We adopt a combination of ethnography and discourse analysis, methods that allow us to make sense of the data we collected on our previous research as well as of the data gathered for this article: social media posts and interactions between the elected members that inspired these profiles and their supporters. Finally, we discuss our results, presenting our main argument on how these descriptions provide a further understanding of the gendered aspect of liberal authoritarianism, from where to better apprehend its political implications in Brazil.

Keywords: Brazilian politics, gendered politics, masculinities, new-right

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6 Gender Dimension of Migrations Influenced by Genocide and Feminicides around the Globe

Authors: Lejla Mušić

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Gender dimension of migration analyzes the intersection in between the world statistics on male and female migrations, around the world, involving the questions of youth migrations. Comparative analyses of world migration statistics as methodology offer the insight into the position of women in labor market around world. There are different forms of youth debris in contemporary world. The main problems are illegal migration, feminization of poverty, kidnapping the girls in Nigeria, femicides in Juarez and Mexico. Illegal migrations involve forced labor, rape and prostitution. Transgender youth share ideas through the online media (anti-bullying videos) and develop their own styles such as anarcho-punk, rave, or rock. Therefore, the stronger gender equality laws and laws for protection of women on work should be enforced.

Keywords: hyperfeminisation, rape, gangs of girls, rent boys masculinities, Varoç in Istanbul, forced labor, rape and prostitution, illegal emigrations

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5 Sexual Harassment at University: Male Students' Perspectives

Authors: Shakila Singh

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Sexual harassment continues to be a problem both in educational institutions and workplaces with the main victims being women and the main perpetrators being men. The achievement of quality education demands to create safe learning spaces for all students and requires extensive and integrated interventions. This article draws on the data from a broader study that aims to create safer learning environments at university by addressing gender violence. It attempts to understand male students’ perspectives about their role in sexual harassment on the campus. It is a move away from interventions that place the responsibility of prevention of sexual harassment, on women. The study adopts an interpretive paradigm within a qualitative approach. The sample comprises twenty male university students who were purposively selected because they live in the campus residences. The main data generation methods included focus group discussions and individual interviews. Findings show that while many male students agree that victims of sexual harassment are mainly women, they also suggest that men are victims of sexual harassment by women. Male students have varying understandings of what constitutes sexual harassment. They position themselves as victims who feel harassed by women’s dress and behaviour. Male students also felt under pressure by sexual advances made by women that forced them to comply in order to protect their masculinity. This article argues that social norms of masculinity are powerful drivers of behaviour that play a key role in the perpetuation of sexual harassment. Male students who feel strongly against sexual harassment of female students are constrained by their masculinities in their ability to act against it. Effective interventions need to actively engage students in reflecting on and challenging social and cultural norms that contribute to violent expressions and to develop alternatives with them.

Keywords: gender violence, male students, sexual harassment, university students

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4 Prevention of Ragging and Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV) in Higher Education Institutions in Sri Lanka

Authors: Anusha Edirisinghe

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Sexual Gender based violence is a most common social phenomenon in higher education institutions. It has become a hidden crime of the Universities. Masculinities norms and attitudes are more influential and serve as key drivers and risk for ragging and SGBV. This research will reveal that in Sri Lankan universities, SGBV takes from the violence and murder of women students, assault and battery coerced sex, sexual harassment including harassment via information technology. This study focus is to prevention of ragging and SGBV in University system. Main objective of this paper describes and critically analyses of plight of ragging and SGBV in higher education institutions and legal and national level policy implementation to prevent these crimes in society. This paper is with special reference to ragging case from University of Kelaniya 2016. University Grant commission introduced an Act for the prevention of Ragging and gender standing committee established in Sri Lanka in 2016. And each university has been involved in the prevention of SGBV and ragging in higher education institutions. Case study from first year female student, reported sexual harassment was reported to the police station in May in 2016. After this case, the university has been implementing emergency action plan, short term and long term action plan. Ragging and SGBV task force was established and online complaint center opened to all students and academic and non- academics. Under these circumstances student complained to SGBV and other harassment to the university. University security system was strong support with police and marshals, and vigilant committees including lecturers. After this case all universities start to several programmes to stop violence in university

Keywords: higher Education, ragging, sexual gender-based violence, Sri Lanka

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3 Naked Machismo: Uncovered Masculinity in an Israeli Home Design Campaign

Authors: Gilad Padva, Sigal Barak Brandes

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This research centers on an unexpected Israeli advertising campaign for Elemento, a local furniture company, which eroticizes male nudity. The discussed campaign includes a series of printed ads that depict naked male models in effeminate positions. This campaign included a series of ads published in Haaretz, a small-scaled yet highly prestigious daily newspaper which is typically read by urban middle-upper-class left-winged Israelis. Apparently, this campaign embodies an alternative masculinity that challenges the prevalent machismo in Israeli society and advertising. Although some of the ads focus on young men in effeminate positions, they never expose their genitals and anuses, and their bodies are never permeable. The 2010s Elemento male models are seemingly contrasted to conventional representation of manhood in contemporary mainstream advertising. They display a somewhat inactive, passive and self-indulgent masculinity which involves 'conspicuous leisure'. In the process of commodity fetishism, the advertised furniture are emptied of the original meaning of their production, and then filled with new meanings in ways that both mystify the product and turn it into a fetish object. Yet, our research critically reconsiders this sensational campaign as sophisticated patriarchal parody that does not subvert but rather reconfirms and even fetishizes patriarchal premises; it parodizes effeminacy rather than the prevalent (Israeli) machismo. Following Pierre Bourdieu's politics of cultural taste, our research reconsiders and criticizes the male models' domesticated masculinity in a fantasized and cosmopolitan hedonistic habitus. Notwithstanding, we suggest that the Elemento campaign, despite its conformity, does question some Israeli and global axioms about gender roles, corporeal ideologies, idealized bodies, and domesticated phalluses and anuses. Although the naked truth is uncovered by this campaign, it does erect a vibrant discussion of contemporary masculinities and their exploitation in current mass consumption.

Keywords: male body, campaign, advertising, gender studies, men's studies, Israeli culture, masculinity, parody, effeminacy

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2 Jan’s Life-History: Changing Faces of Managerial Masculinities and Consequences for Health

Authors: Susanne Gustafsson

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Life-history research is an extraordinarily fruitful method to use for social analysis and gendered health analysis in particular. Its potential is illustrated through a case study drawn from a Swedish project. It reveals an old type of masculinity that faces difficulties when carrying out two sets of demands simultaneously, as a worker/manager and as a father/husband. The paper illuminates the historical transformation of masculinity and the consequences of this for health. We draw on the idea of the “changing faces of masculinity” to explore the dynamism and complexity of gendered health. An empirical case is used for its illustrative abilities. Jan, a middle-level manager and father employed in the energy sector in urban Sweden is the subject of this paper. Jan’s story is one of 32 semi-structured interviews included in an extended study focusing on well-being at work. The results reveal a face of masculinity conceived of in middle-level management as tacitly linked to the neoliberal doctrine. Over a couple of decades, the idea of “flexibility” was turned into a valuable characteristic that everyone was supposed to strive for. This resulted in increased workloads. Quite a few employees, and managers, in particular, find themselves working both day and night. This may explain why not having enough time to spend with children and family members is a recurring theme in the data. Can this way of doing be linked to masculinity and health? The first author’s research has revealed that the use of gender in health science is not sufficiently or critically questioned. This lack of critical questioning is a serious problem, especially since ways of doing gender affect health. We suggest that gender reproduction and gender transformation are interconnected, regardless of how they affect health. They are recognized as two sides of the same phenomenon, and minor movements in one direction or the other become crucial for understanding its relation to health. More or less, at the same time, as Jan’s masculinity was reproduced in response to workplace practices, Jan’s family position was transformed—not totally but by a degree or two, and these degrees became significant for the family’s health and well-being. By moving back and forth between varied events in Jan’s biographical history and his sociohistorical life span, it becomes possible to show that in a time of gender transformations, power relations can be renegotiated, leading to consequences for health.

Keywords: changing faces of masculinity, gendered health, life-history research method, subverter

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1 Hegemonic Salaryman Masculinity: Case Study of Transitional Male Gender Roles in Today's Japan

Authors: D. Norton

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This qualitative study focuses on the lived experience and displacement of young white-collar masculinities in Japan. In recent years, the salaryman lifestyle has undergone significant disruption - increased competition for regular employment, rise in non-regular structurings of labour across public/private sectors, and shifting role expectations within the home. Despite this, related scholarship hints at a continued reinforcement of the traditional male gender role - that the salaryman remains a key benchmark of Japanese masculine identity. For those in structural proximity to these more ‘normative’ performativities, interest lies their engagement with such narratives - how they make sense of their masculinity in response to stated changes. In light of the historical emphasis on labour and breadwinning logics, notions of respective security or precarity generated as a result remain unclear. Similarly, concern extends to developments within the private sphere - by what means young white-collar men construct ideas of singlehood and companionship according to traditional gender ideologies or more contemporary, flexible readings. The influence of these still-emergent status distinctions on the logics of the social group in question is yet to be explored in depth by gender scholars. This project, therefore, focuses on a salaryman archetype as hegemonic - its transformation amidst these changes and socialising mechanisms that continue to legitimate unequal gender hierarchies. For data collection, a series of ethnographic interviews were held over a period of 12 months with university-educated, white-collar male employees from both Osaka and the Greater Tokyo Area. Findings suggest a modern salaryman ideal reflecting both continuities and shifts within white-collar employment. Whilst receptive to more contemporary workplace practices, the narratives of those interviewed remain imbued with logics supporting patterns of internal hegemony. Regular/non-regular distinction emerged as the foremost variable for both material and discursive patterns of white-collar stratification, with variants of displacement for each social group. Despite the heightened valorisation of stable employment, regular workers articulated various concerns over a model of corporate masculinity seen to be incompatible with recent socioeconomic developments. Likewise, non-regular employees face detachment owing to a still-inflexible perception of their working masculinity as marginalized amidst economic precarity. In seeking to negotiate respective challenges, those interviewed demonstrated an engagement with various concurrent social changes that would often either accommodate, reinforce, or expand upon traditional role behaviours. Few of these narratives offered any notable transgression of said ideal, however, suggesting that within the spectre of white-collar employment in Japan for the near future, any substantive transformation of corporate masculinity remains dependant upon economic developments, less so the agency of those involved.

Keywords: gender ideologies, hegemonic masculinity, Japan, white-collar employment

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