Alcade, M.C. 2011. “Masculinities in Motion: Latino Men and Violence in Kentucky.”

Alcade, M. Christina. 2011. “Masculinities in Motion: Latino Men and Violence in Kentucky.” Men and Masculinities 14(4): 450-469.

How men construct masculinity through interrelation of migration, women’s behaviors, and peer pressure. Violence based in men’s perceptions of loss of power, while women gain power. Migration brings economic power and opportunity, but also invites discrimination – women’s increased independence from men are sometimes viewed as threats to masculinity. Violence, toughness, and dominance are peer-encouraged ways to assert and affirm manhood, in response to abstract systemic frustrations – instead, targeting partners. Violence, then, is a form of protest in absence of other means to contest social and economic discrimination and vulnerability. Gender, as noted by Connell is an active construction and undertaking – “grappling with a situation, and constructing ways of living in it, is central to the making of gender” (1995, 114). “In this context, men increasingly rely on their work to maintain self-esteem and to define themselves as ‘‘real’’ men who are tough, hard-working, and able to provide for their families (Walter, Bourgois, and Loinaz 2004). Men place significant value on their ability to work as a way to ‘‘resist their structural vulnerability in a historically evolved low-wage labor migration system that denies them citizens’ rights’’ (Walter, Bourgois, and Loinaz 2004, 1162)” (here 457). Vulnerability in economic force, but particular vulnerability for undocumented workers. Patriarchal and traditional family notions are exacerbated by unfamiliar settings post-migration. Violence as socialized during children, but also in adulthood – however, blame for most violence is pressed onto others. Homophobia (even in gay respondents) was heightened, and masculinity associated with power and ‘manliness’ was emphasized.


Connell, R. W. 1995. Masculinities. Berkeley: University of California.

Walter, Nicholas, Philippe Bourgois, and H. Margarita Loinaz. 2004. Masculinity and undocumented labor migration: Injured Latino day laborers in San Francisco. Social Science and Medicine 59:1159-68


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