Hegemonic Masculinity and Globalization: Transnational Business Masculinities and Beyond
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In recent years masculinity studies writers, in particular R. W. Connell, have focused on the relationship between globalization and 'hegemonic' forms of masculinity. This paper provides an assessment of this scholarship and argues that whilst Connell and others have usefully identified the gendered nature of globalization, masculinity scholars have also provided a somewhat limiting account of the global hegemonic role of a monolithic top-down 'transnational business masculinity'. By contrast, we suggest a demassification of this notion of hegemonic masculinity. Such a demassification enables the opening up of a dialogue between masculinity studies and feminist and other critical globalization scholars, allowing for a more nuanced analysis that can attend to both the unevenness of globalization in different settings and more detailed awareness of interactions between global and local/cultural/state imperatives. Our aim here is to move away from conceptualizations of globalization and hegemonic masculinity that are exceptionally top-down towards an analysis of the contested and shifting nature of gender identity at the global as well as the local level, to highlight the ways in which different hegemonic masculinities are negotiated, and even resisted. We argue that by understanding 'transnational business masculinity' as a discursive ideal that legitimates the workings of global capitalism, there is scope for a greater level of engagement between critical globalization scholarship and gender studies. This might also open the door to an account of globalization that entails more detailed reference to women and femininities.
Copyright 2009 Routledge. This is an electronic version of an article published in Globalizations Volume 6, Issue 2, 2009, 281-296. Globalizations is available online at: http://www.informaworld.com with the open URL of your article.