Implinity Concepts: Between Binaries And Hegemonic Masculinity

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2.2 Masculinity concepts: Between Binaries and hegemonic masculinity After establishing the existence of a social identity that forms the self, I know want to address an additional element of identity formation: masculinity, and thus gender relations. The last years have seen various discussions about a so-called ‘crisis in masculinity’ . The rise of feminism, after-war generations of men raised by women and civil rights movements like the Gay Liberation movement are seen as a threat to masculinity. Suddenly, white, middle-class, heterosexual males were compelled to examine their own privilege and question their identities. The feeling of a crisis existing is thus a reaction of anxiety and panic to cultural change. As Buchbinder says: “This usually alarming and undesired emotional response on the part of individuals is then projected outward as a generalized social response that redefines change as catastrophe” (2013, 6). This crisis therefore is seen as an individual threat to people’s identity. The definitions of what it takes to be ‘a real man’ are questioned more and more, pre-conceived notions of what masculinity means are continuously called into question. This blurring of boundaries and of what is assumed to be ‘natural’ thus constitutes a threat to the status quo and the binary structures of society. In order to understand this supposed crisis of masculinity, it is essential to understand that both masculinity and femininity are cultural concepts and thus

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