Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Contemporary Masculine Identity


The first article i have chosen which analyses contemporary masculine identity is an academic blog post which in some detail discusses the current male identity of Americans. The blog post argues that Americans have lost their masculine identity through something commonly referred to as the He-Cession caused by the recent economic down turn in America.

The theory is that the recession has caused many men to lose their jobs, more so than women the article argues. but the difference being is that when a man loses his job he is effectively robbed of his masculinity especially men working in the lower tier of of society, in working class, blue collar jobs. This is because when a man loses his job and is unable to find another he has lost all of his male responsibilities to his family. The man is no longer the bread-winner, he is no longer the role model to his children or the respectable figure to his wife. at least this is what the article suggests.

Because a man has lost his job he essentially becomes worthless in his own opinion and with out purpose. This then may result in the woman of the family becoming the primary source of income, further emasculating the man.

The problem with this article is that in my opinion it has a very traditionalist view point which is not relevant in contemporary America despite being written about contemporary America. The author appears to believe that the average American family is working husband and house wife and that the reversal of this in modern society is the cause of American men's loss of masculine identity. in essence the post argues that the progression of women as equals has caused the downfall of the male identity. this is shown through the articles initial stating of statistics about the amounts of men leaving college with degrees compared to women and how it is falling every year.

The second article from The Chronicle bares a small amount of significance as it has a few suggestions as to where the American Male's identity has shifted due to the He-Cession. And that is to the few male dominated areas left in American society, contact sports and video games, although not exclusive to men, the article suggests that a man is now the subject of his sporting talents and his appreciation of violent video games, particularly as what used to make a man a man in America is now no longer male dominated, again employment is brought up and the loss of industries in America such as steel. All that is left for the American male is video games, guns and sports.

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