Soma-masculinities: centring the body within studies of masculinities
AffiliationSchool of Historical and Philosophical Studies
Document TypePhD thesis
Access StatusOpen Access
© 2018 Dr. Shane Tas
Whilst feminist and queer scholarship have paid generous attention to bodies and embodiment in their attempts to better understand gender and sexuality, studies of masculinities have tended to lag behind. In this thesis, I attend to the theoretical strains within studies of masculinities to demonstrate that these studies are at an impasse, a point at which scholars remain reluctant or unable to push beyond current frameworks into new and, as I argue, productive territory. In particular, these studies have most readily employed social constructionist approaches in their analyses, typified by Connell's concept of hegemonic masculinity, however such frameworks have been unable to adequately describe and account for the complexities, contradictions and possibilities of masculinities and male subjectivities. I suggest that bodies are central to this understanding and must be brought into the frame in a more significant manner. Throughout this thesis I draw attention to the blind spot within these studies and attend to bodies more closely through an examination of contemporary masculinities. In particular I consider three specific sites of the body: the phallic, the hegemonic and the homosexual body. I interrogate these through a number of case studies, including pornography, Australian rules football and online dating sites, all of which continue to arouse interest and debate within academic and public spheres. It is here that I draw attention to some of the limitations of current studies and attempt to produce a richer account of the key questions and problems within these debates. In doing this, I introduce a new framework I call soma-masculinities which I employ to address masculinities in a more profound manner, and make some original contributions to the scholarship. In particular, this framework places a greater emphasis on the material body and its fleshy components; it aims to bring the flesh into bodies and questions of masculinity. Soma-masculinities is not one specific theory or concept but rather a mode of enquiry. Thus, it utilises a broad toolkit that incorporates conceptual models that are already available and engaged, particularly within feminist and queer theory. I demonstrate how this framework might offer a more capacious account of contemporary masculinities and the complex ways in which they are embodied and lived.
Keywordsmasculinities; embodiment; hegemonic masculinity; lived body; sexuality; sport; pornography; gender studies; feminism; phenomenology
- Click on "Export Reference in RIS Format" and choose "open with... Endnote".
- Click on "Export Reference in RIS Format". Login to Refworks, go to References => Import References