Job Volatility Essay

1173 Words 5 Pages
As stable middle class jobs are steadily shipped overseas, mechanized, and replaced with low paid, part time work, the American male has lost his ability to comfortably support a family and has therefore lost part of his masculine identity. Faludi contends that “to be a man increasingly [means] being ever on the rise” (Faludi 11). In the past, hard work ensured steady, if slow, improvement; many people would work at the same company for the majority of their careers with reliable raises and a certain future. However, modern society has made jobs inconsistent. A recent paper published by Princeton University finds that “long-term employment is on the decline in the United States” (princeton.edu). As job volatility has increased, the ability …show more content…
Just as the war front is losing its ability to turn boys into men as it is steadily overtaken by drones and robots, so to has the modern frontier. According to Faludi, space “turned out to be a place not much worth conquering” (Faludi 28). With isolation, no possibility for settlement, and regression to infantile dependence on the ship, space has never been an adequate proving ground for a generation of boys desperately in need of becoming men. In the past, however, space still created a handful of men —the astronauts— who could be looked up to and idolized, thereby passing on masculine values of hope, bravery, and curiosity. Now, however, space travel is not only useless as a frontier for the many, it even fails to create masculine role models. The new American heros of frontier adventure are Martian rovers like Curiosity, unrelatable and far, far away. The picture of Curiosity and its surroundings were chosen to display the barren, sterile emptiness of the modern frontier. The only things left to be conquered by mankind are rocks on the surface of a dead planet, hundreds of millions of miles away. This clearly demonstrates the hopeless condition of masculine identity; the abject state of the modern frontier is pathetically countered by …show more content…
As society loses clarity over who or what the enemy is, the resultant lack of unity has attacked manhood from many angles. The return from overseas is neither unanimously greeted with glory nor hatred, as society has lost sight of a singular enemy. Additionally, the modern frontier, dominated by technology and robotics, provides no opportunity for a male proving ground in which boys can become men. Moreover, media has responded to the decaying male paradigm with violent imagery in a futile effort to recreate the sustaining aesthetic of violence and naive hopefulness in the form of happy American men successfully achieving the American dream. Meanwhile, growing job insecurity has diminished men’s ability to provide for their families and obtain permanent housing, both crucial parts of manhood. Thus, the modern American male is The Fractured Man, every aspect of masculinity that he strives to emulate has been divided or decayed into oblivion and while yearning to be a man, he is doing so only in a depressing display of

Related Documents