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Horizontes Antropológicos

Print version ISSN 0104-7183On-line version ISSN 1806-9983


KIMMEL, Michael S.. A produção simultânea de masculinidades hegemônicas e subalternas. Horiz. antropol. [online]. 1998, vol.4, n.9, pp.103-117. ISSN 0104-7183.

I take the argument of Andre Gunder Frank in his classic studies on Latin America, that economic development and underdevelopment were not simply stages through which all countries pass. Rather, he argued, there was a relationship between development and underdevelopment, that, in fact, the development of some countries implied the specific and deliberate underdevelopment of others. The creation of the metropole was simultaneous and coordinated with the creation of the periphery. As with economic development, so too with gender, with the historical constructions of the meanings of masculinity. As the hegemonic ideal was being created, it was created against a screen of “others" whose masculinity was thus problematized and devalued. Hegemonic and subaltern emerged in mutual, but unequal interaction in a gendered social and economic order. In this paper, I trace the historical emergence of the hegemonic version of masculinity in the United States and Western Europe from the 18th century to the present. I describe the ways in which the “self-made man" displaced and discredited other versions of masculinity – of men of color, immigrants, gay men, older men, upper class men, working class men – as well as women as it became the dominant form of gendered success in the public arena. I then describe the contemporary version of hegemonic masculinity – the global capitalist, watching CNN in luxury hotels in every country, talking on his cell phone, wearing power ties and eating power lunches – as the direct descendent of the 18th century merchant.

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