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Sticky masculinity: Post-structuralism, phenomenology and subjectivity in critical studies on men
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2014 (English)In: Men and Masculinities, ISSN 1097-184X, E-ISSN 1552-6828, Vol. 17, no 3, 231-252 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Despite the consolidation of "critical studies on men" or "masculinity studies" in recent years, critics have pointed to a kind of feminist theory deficit due to the relative lack of engagement with contemporary developments of feminist theory. By focusing on poststructuralist feminist and feminist phenomenological accounts of subjectivity, this article seeks to contribute to the emerging body of work that brings such theories into critical studies on men. I argue that making use of these perspectives is not only a matter of replacing dominant theories, but rather offers possibilities for creative re-reading of earlier work on masculinity, which may not have been sufficiently appreciated from the viewpoint of dominant structural perspectives. My argument proceeds through a reading of John Stoltenberg as a poststructuralist feminist, and a reading of Victor Seidler as a feminist phenomenologist. I suggest that the study of masculinity can benefit from both traditions, and as an example I consider Jonathan Salisbury’s and David Jackson’s work on "boys’ work." Drawing in particular on Sara Ahmed’s innovative combination of poststructuralism and phenomenology, I suggest an understanding of masculinity as "sticky."

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 17, no 3, 231-252 p.
Keyword [en]
subjectivity, masculinity, post-structuralism, phenomenology, John Stoltenberg, Victor Seidler, Sara Ahmed, queer phenomenology
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-226271DOI: 10.1177/1097184X14539510ISI: 000340101200001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-226271DiVA: diva2:725044
Available from: 2014-06-14 Created: 2014-06-14 Last updated: 2015-01-22Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Reading Rap: Feminist Interventions in Men and Masculinity Research
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Reading Rap: Feminist Interventions in Men and Masculinity Research
2014 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The present thesis explores how masculinity is constructed and negotiated in relation to race, class and sexuality in hip hop in Sweden. Theoretically, the study contributes to the increasing use of contemporary feminist theory in men and masculinity research. In so doing, it brings into dialogue poststructuralist feminism, feminist phenomenology, intersectionality and queer theory. These theoretical perspectives are put to use in a discourse analysis of rap lyrics by 38 rap artists in Sweden from the period 1991-2011. The thesis is based on the following four articles:

Sticky masculinity: Post-structuralism, phenomenology and subjectivity in critical studies on men explores how poststructuralist feminism and feminist phenomenology can advance the understanding of subjectivity within men and masculinity research. Drawing on Sara Ahmed, and offering re-readings of John Stoltenberg and Victor Seidler, the article develops the notion of “sticky masculinity”.

Degrees of intersectionality: Male rap artists in Sweden negotiating class, race and gender analyzes how class, race, gender, and to some extent sexuality, intersect in rap lyrics by male artists. It shows how critiques of class and race inequalities in these lyrics intersect with normative notions of gender and sexuality. Drawing on this empirical analysis, the article suggests that the notion of “degrees of intersectionality” can be helpful in thinking about masculinity from an intersectional perspective.

‘No homo’: Straight inoculations and the queering of masculinity in Swedish hip hop explores the boundary work performed by male artists regarding sexuality categories. In particular, it analyzes how heterosexuality is sustained, given the affection expressed among male peers. To this end, the article develops the notion of “straight inoculations” to account for the rhetorical means by which heterosexual identities are sustained in a contested terrain.

Hip hop feminism in Sweden: Intersectionality, feminist critique and female masculinity investigates lyrics by female artists in the male-dominated hip hop genre. The analysis shows how critique of gender inequality is a central theme in these lyrics, ranging from the hip hop scene to politics and men’s violence against women. The article also analyzes how female rappers both critique and perform masculinity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2014. 66 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Social Sciences, ISSN 1652-9030 ; 101
hip hop, rap lyrics, men and masculinity, feminist theory, intersectionality, queer theory, poststructuralism, feminist phenomenology, discourse analysis, cultural studies, popular music, gender, sexuality, race, class
National Category
Research subject
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-229518 (URN)978-91-554-9012-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2014-10-10, Room IX, Universitetshuset, Biskopsgatan 3, Uppsala, 10:15 (English)
Available from: 2014-09-19 Created: 2014-08-11 Last updated: 2015-01-22

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Publisher's full texthttp://jmm.sagepub.com/content/early/2014/06/12/1097184X14539510

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