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Man nog för jämställdhet?: en studie av Järva Mansmottagning och omvandlingar av hegemonisk maskulinitet i jämställdhetsdiskursernas tidevarv
Södertörn University College, School of Gender, Culture and History.
2006 (Swedish)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Magister), 10 points / 15 hpStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Equality between men and women has as an ideal won an increasing impact on the contemporary Swedish society and has established as a factor influencing all areas of society from politics to business and private life. The focus of this essay is to explore the impact of equality on hegemonic masculinity and relations of masculinities. The aim of the essay has moreover been to investigate the consequences of an increased focus on men and critique of masculinity due to a growing influence of feminism and women’s movement in Sweden. The study is based on interviews with four members of staff working in a men’s clinic for sexual and reproductive health in Stockholm, Järva Mansmottagning. The clinic is an interesting object of study since it is the only one of its kind in Sweden and furthermore because of its explicit focus on the problems of masculinity and work with equality.

The main questions of the study have been: what forms of hegemonic masculinity are constructed in dialogue with discourses on equality; what make up counter images and deviating masculinities and how are these positioned in relation to hegemonic masculinity; and last what kind of complicity with hegemonic masculinity are the men visiting the clinic considered to have?

The theoretical framework of the essay has been social constructionist theories on masculinity as presented by Connell among others and theories on intersectionality, i.e. how masculinity interacts with other asymmetries of power such as ethnicity and sexuality. Closely linked to the theoretical stances are the methodological stances of discourse theory developed by Foucault and Laclau and Mouffe and dialogism developed by Bakhtin. These standpoints have guided my analysis of the material.

To sum up the most important conclusions of the study hegemonic masculinity in relation to equality is constructed from significants such as modernity, change and responsibility over oneself as well as in relation to partners and children. Non-Swedish and masculinities of an older generation are depicted as the counter images of hegemonic masculinity and are conceived as unsuccessful masculinities. Non-Swedish masculinity is expected more patriarchal and dependent on traditional and stereotype masculine ideals and masculinities of older generations are presumed isolated, irresponsible and unable to change. These contrasting masculinities are depicted as frustrated, fearful and worried due to loss of power and losers in relation to femininity. Equality is enforced as the solution to these masculinities and what constitutes hegemonic masculinity is the appreciation, understanding and conduct of equality by men. Marginalisation of masculinities is thus a consequence of establishment of hegemonic masculinity in relation to equality and heteronormativity is moreover reinforced in hegemonic masculinity. Firstly, as a consequence of the constant focus of men and women in relation in discourses on equality, secondly since heterosexuality is described as men’s complicity in masculinity. Nor is the dominance of masculinity threatened as traditionally feminine traits such as caretaking now are connoted as indisputably masculine. One interesting conclusion is how discourses on masculinity are employing discourses from feminism and women’s movement claiming status as individuals and subjects beyond sexroles. Being a man is no longer a guarantee for being considered an individual. Another interesting conclusion is that in spite of the male body remaining an important fundament in masculinity there is however an extensive critique of traditional conceptions on male sexuality as active, conquering and constant. The interviewed present alternative discourses on masculinity and sexuality with significant potential destabilising hegemonic masculinity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Huddinge: Institutionen för genus, historia, litteratur och religion , 2006. , 72 p.
Keyword [en]
masculinity, equality, ethnicity, sexuality, intersectionality
National Category
Gender Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-535OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-535DiVA: diva2:16241
Uppsok
samhälle/juridik
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2006-02-09 Created: 2006-02-09

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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