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Type: Conference paper
Title: Situating masculinities in global politics
Author: Beasley, C.
Elias, J.
Citation: Proceedings of the Oceanic Conference on International Studies, 2006 / Robyn Eckersley (ed./s), pp.www1-www18
Publisher: University of Melbournq
Publisher Place: www
Issue Date: 2006
Conference Name: Oceanic Conference on International Studies (05 Jul 2006 : Melbourne, Australia)
Statement of
Chris Beasley and Juanita Elias
Abstract: This paper looks at the distinctive ways in which critical studies of men and masculinity and critical feminist scholarship have sought to bring the concept of ‘globalisation’ into their research. A key concern of the paper is to outline these two inter-related, yet competing perspectives employ understandings of globalisation as a gendered process. In discussing the critical masculinities studies literature associated with writers such as Michael Kimmel and R. W. Connell, we argue that this research often approaches the process of globalisation in macro-structural terms; stressing the reification of hegemonically masculine values and identities in modern capitalist society. In this sense globalisation is viewed in terms of the entrenchment of masculinised processes of ‘business-globalisation’ that corresponds with the interests of elite men—what Connell has labelled ‘transnational business masculinity’. Although the idea of hegemonic masculinity is often presented as a context within which competing and alternative gendered identities emerge – in this sense, gender identities are tied to notions of a ‘global gender order’ in which certain types of masculinity are dominant. By contrast a feminist body of literature that has emerged within studies of political economy, social anthropology and sociology has engaged more critically with notions of gendered identities in international politics—highlighting how gendered forms of inequality are cross cut with other forms of inequality (in particular those based upon race and ethnicity). More recently, this literature has started to problematise the very category of gender highlighting how the gendered impacts of globalisation manifest themselves in terms of the re-shaping of and challenging of established gender identities. Our analysis therefore raises concerns about the use of fixed categories such as ‘hegemonic masculinity’. In this sense, whilst there is some importance in dealing with concepts of elite or hegemonic masculine identities in thinking about globalisation – this should not be at the expense of a more theoretically nuanced understanding of the gendered impacts of globalisation. Essentially we wish to demonstrate that whilst there is a clear analytical usefulness in dealing with ideas of hegemonic masculinity; at the same time, this should not be at the expense of developments within feminist theory.
RMID: 0020062658
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