Culturally Gendered: The Institutionalization of Men and Masculinities in Society and Corporations

Culturally Gendered: The Institutionalization of Men and Masculinities in Society and Corporations

Ben Tran (Alliant International University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0225-8.ch006
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Abstract

The social differentiation between males and females is a relational concept: masculinity exists and has meaning only as it contrasts with femininity, and vice versa (Connell, 1995, p. 43). Western culture, especially, prides itself on the successful integration of feminism into modern society—though some still question how successfully integrated feminism truly is while others ponder whether or not cultural power in society has been reversed. As masculinity studies developed, according to Simpson (2004), so too did the concept of multiple masculinities, the idea that men respond to and embrace masculinity in a variety of ways because the expression of masculinity can “change according to time, the event, and the perspectives” of a group or community (Imms, 2000, p. 156), as demonstrated by Heasley (2005), and men who are in female dominated occupations. Nevertheless, multiple masculinities are commonly segregated into the following categories: hegemonic, complicit, subordinated, and marginalized.
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Background Of Gender And Development (Gad)

More recently, GAD has faced criticism from gender theorists (Chant, 2000; Jackson, 2001), among others, who are unconvinced that GAD has provided any alternative to the shortcomings of WID. One major critique has problematized the marginalization of men from GAD policy and practice and the continued, almost exclusive, focus on women rather than on gender. Still today, in the literature and reports of development agencies and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) throughout the world, the terms gender and women are often used interchangeably as if one were synonymous with the other (Kaufman, 2003). The perceived failure of GAD to adopt a truly relational and integrated approach has meant that development agencies are becoming increasingly interested to bring men in to work on gender (White, 2000, p. 33). The various debates provoked by this suggestion and the relevance of such debates for re-thinking current approaches to gender and development will serve as the focus of this chapter.

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