Hegemonic Masculinity, By Sociologist Raewyn Connell Essay

2348 Words Oct 11th, 2016 10 Pages
The October 30, 1944 cover of TIME magazine depicts a photograph of a stern faced man against a background that includes a closed fist punching an image of Emperor Hirohito of Japan; the caption reads “I Shall Return.” The man is General Douglas MacArthur, who embodies the pure, rugged masculinity that America holds in such high esteem. He’s often quoted for saying, “Only those Americans who are willing to die for their country are fit to live.” The United States has elevated that value of sacrifice into the American mythos. That this has happened is no coincidence as the United States is a culture with a strong element of hegemonic masculinity. Hegemonic masculinity, a concept created by sociologist Raewyn Connell, is a strain of masculinity that prioritizes the domination of certain groups of men over women and non-cisgender men. Aside from war, sport is a useful lens through which to view hegemonic masculinity because much of what society expects from men can be seen through portrayals of male athletes by the media. Yet there is much scholarly debate as to whether sport today continues to uphold the values of hegemonic masculinity or actually contributes to breaking down the hegemonic aspects of masculinity. Juxtaposing the media portrayals of Nolan Ryan and Russell Westbrook, as well as examining the views of a men’s college soccer team in the Northeast, provides strong evidence that hegemonic masculinity, although it has aspects that maintain a significant presence in…

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