What makes hegemonic masculinity so hegemonic? Japanese American men and masculine aspirations

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1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Research on ‘hegemonic masculinity’ needs to more specifically examine its hegemonic properties by analysing how masculine ideals embodied by white men have become pervasive and widely-accepted by men of colour through their voluntary compliance and consent. This paper analyses the influence of hegemonic masculinity on the lives of Japanese American men. Because they have adopted hegemonic masculinity as an idealised standard that they aspire to, but cannot attain, their subordinate masculinity is construed as inferior and effeminate, constraining their romantic power over women. Such negative assessments are shared by Japanese American women, who are also under the pervasive influence of hegemonic masculinity. In response, some Japanese American men attempt to appropriate the qualities of an idealised manliness in public performances, indicating how they continue to conceive of their masculinities in hegemonic terms. Although a few of them valorised Asian American manhood in order to challenge hegemonic conceptions, such alternative masculinities may eventually be appropriated by hegemonic masculine discourses to perpetuate pre-existing racial inequalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalIdentities
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • Hegemony
  • Japanese Americans
  • gender
  • hegemonic masculinity
  • ideology
  • race and ethnicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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