Connell, R.W. “An Iron Man”

Connell, R.W. “An Iron Man.”

Masculinity as multiple, holding complex relations of dominance/subordination to each other. Contradicts the male sex role. “Masculinity is not inherent in the male body; it is a definition given socially, which refers to characteristics of male bodies” (76) – is this always the case? Can masculinity be offered to non-male bodies?

“Masculinized” discipline as restrictive, even for able-bodied, young heterosexual men – effected by policing of bodies, sexuality, and performance. Key portion of masculinity – to not be homosexual, but to participate heavily in homosocial arenas of gendered and sexual exclusion.

Interesting – transformation of recreation into spectacle began in 19th century, became powerful in 20th century – globalizing force.

^this article, however, focuses on the critique of “extended adolescence” of a surf superstar who Connell attributes hegemonic masculinity – yet, he only participates within sport and commerce, and does not hold power (and may even be stigmatized) through his non-participation in family, religion may marginalize him in power. Discusses multiplicity, but hardly goes into why he attributes sports or commerce to be a dictator of powerful masculinity – could the ‘surfer-bum’ be marginalized in other cases?


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