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Ruptures in hegemonic masculinity: the dialectic between ideology and utopia

Journal article
Authors Thomas Johansson
Andreas Ottemo
Published in Journal of Gender Studies
Volume 24
Issue 2
Pages 192-206
ISSN 0958-9236
Publication year 2015
Published at Department of Education, Communication and Learning
Department of Education and Special Education
Pages 192-206
Language en
Keywords hegemonic masculinity, ideology, utopia, subjectivity, fatherhood
Subject categories Gender Studies


In the 1990s, Raewyn Connell published her groundbreaking study on the transformation of masculinity. In Masculinities, the concept of hegemonic masculinity was put forward as a key concept in gender studies. Originally applied in Marxian studies to power and class, the concept of hegemony was now used to analyse a historically mobile and dynamic power structure and hierarchical relation between different groups of men and women. Although using the concept of hegemonic masculinity is considered a powerful way of approaching and analysing gender relations, the main question is whether this conceptual turn, in fact, leads to a more dynamic theory of masculinity and gender. The main objective of this article is to contribute to conceptual clarifications and to the theorizing on gender, hegemony and masculinity. The conceptual and theoretical exploration aims at opening up ways of redefining and reconceptualizing hegemonic masculinity. Using Ricoeur’s and Laclau and Mouffe’s theorizations of hegemony, the concept of hegemonic masculinity is expanded and reformulated. A short case study of contemporary Scandinavian fatherhood is used to discuss the empirical implications of this theoretical effort.

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