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The Cultural Politics of Masculinity: Towards a Social Geography
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers
Vol. 16, No. 2 (1991), pp. 199-213
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/622614
Page Count: 15
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Drawing on the concept of cultural politics, this paper explores the cultural construction of gender identities among men and women, emphasizing their historical and geographical specificity. It examines the extent to which patriarchal gender relations lead to the oppression of some (gay and heterosexual) men as well as being inherently exploitative of women. Notwithstanding the powerful fit between 'dominant' (or hegemonic) masculinity and 'compliant' (subordinate) femininity, the paper recognizes a plurality of masculinities and femininities, accessed through a selection of representations of gender difference. While new forms of masculinity may have emerged from the challenge of feminism and gay political activism, the weight of evidence points to the resilience of patriarchal structures rather than to any dramatic shift in the balance of power between men and women. The paper provides new evidence from current research in Bradford. It concludes with an agenda for future research on the spatial structures that underpin dominant forms of masculinity and indicate the lines of possible resistance.
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers © 1991 The Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers)