Masculinity Gender Perspective

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Global Perspectives of Masculinity
Connell, (2005) noted that, to understand masculinity, we must start by understanding the gender system, in which masculinities are defined.
a. “Role theory” is a theory of society based on the power of custom and social conformity. People learn their roles, in the course of growing up, and then perform them under social pressure. “Sex role” theory explains gender patterns by appealing to the social customs that define proper behaviour for women and for men.
Applied to men, “sex role” theory emphasizes the way expectations about proper masculine behaviour are conveyed to boys as they grow up, by parents, teachers and the society. This is a plausible approach to some issues about masculinity. However “sex
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The second model of gender, which I call “categorical theory”, treats women and men as pre-formed categories. This approach often appeals, explicitly or implicitly, to the biological difference of the sexes as the explanation of social behaviour.
The focus is on some relation between the categories, which is external to their constitution as categories. This is, for instance, the logical structure underlying most discussion of equal employment opportunity. It is also found in much of the discussion of sexual harassment and gender violence.
Compared with “sex role” theory, this approach more readily addresses issues of power. However, categorical theory too has difficulty grasping any of the complexities of gender, such as gendered violence within either of the two main categories, men and women. The categorical approach leaves little space for the interplay of gender with class and race, and misses such issues as the importance of unionism for working-class women, or community organizing for indigenous women. It readily leads to ethnocentric generalizations about women and men, which miss the importance of the global structures of exploitation and
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This arena includes sexual arousal and intercourse; childbirth and infant- care; bodily sex difference, and similarity. I call this a “reproductive arena” rather than a “biological basis” because biology does not determine what happens. Rather, bodies are participants in a historical process they are both agents and objects of practice.
The broad division of human bodies into male and female is constantly a point of reference in gender divisions; but it is vital to recognize that gender is a social arrangement, biological reproduction does not cause, or even provide a template for, gender as practice.
As social beings, we act in response to particular situations, within definite structures of social relations. Gender relations, the relations among people and groups organized through the reproductive arena.
Masculinities and femininities are best understood as gender projects, dynamic arrangements of social practice through time, in which we make ourselves and are made as particular kinds of human

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