The concept of hegemonic masculinity has influenced gender studies across many academic fields but has also attracted serious criticism. The authors trace the origin of the concept in a convergence of ideas in the early 1980s and map the ways it was applied when research on men and masculinities expanded. Evaluating the principal criticisms, the authors defend the underlying concept of masculinity, which in most research use is neither reified nor essentialist. However, the criticism of trait models of gender and rigid typologies is sound. The treatment of the subject in research on hegemonic masculinity can be improved with the aid of recent psychological models, although limits to discursive flexibility must be recognized. The concept of hegemonic masculinity does not equate to a model of social reproduction; we need to recognize social struggles in which subordinated masculinities influence dominant forms. Finally, the authors review what has been confirmed from early formulations (the idea of multiple masculinities, the concept of hegemony, and the emphasis on change) and what needs to be discarded (onedimensional treatment of hierarchy and trait conceptions of gender). The authors suggest reformulation of the concept in four areas: a more complex model of gender hierarchy, emphasizing the agency of women; explicit recognition of the geography of masculinities, emphasizing the interplay among local, regional, and global levels; a more specific treatment of embodiment in contexts of privilege and power; and a stronger emphasis on the dynamics of hegemonic masculinity, recognizing internal contradictions and the possibilities of movement toward gender democracy.
Discussions of Raewyn's work
ZHAN Junfeng, Xing Bie Zhi Lu: Rui Wen Kang Nai Er De Nan Xing Qi Zhi Li Lun Tan Suo [The Road of Gender: An Exploration of Raewyn Connell’s Theories of Masculinity]. Guangxi Normal University Press, 2015.
Maree Herrett and Toni Schofield, “Raewyn Connell: Gender, health and healthcare”. Pp. 550-566 in Fran Collyer, The Palgrave Handbook of Social Theory in Health, Illness and Medicine, Basingstoke and New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.
John Scott, “Raewyn Connell: Hegemonic masculinities, gender and male health”. Pp. 535-549 in Fran Collyer, The Palgrave Handbook of Social Theory in Health, Illness and Medicine, Basingstoke and New York, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015.
Michael Burawoy. 2015. "Travelling Theory", Open Democracy, 21 March 2015, online at: https://www.opendemocracy.net/michael-burawoy/travelling-theory
Shelley Budgeon. 2014. “The dynamics of gender hegemony: femininities, masculinities and social change”, Sociology, 2014, vol. 48 no. 2, 317-334.
Craig Campbell. 2014. "Making the Difference (1982)". Dictionary of Educational History in Australia and New Zealand (DEHANZ). 28 February. Available online at: http://dehanz.net.au/entries/making-difference-1982/.
Meoïn Hagège et Arthur Vuattoux. 2014. “Introduction”. Pp. 9-21 in Raewyn Connell, Masculinités: Enjeux sociaux de l’hégémonie. Paris: Éditions Amsterdam.
Éric Fassin, “Postface: Actualité des masculinités”. Pp. 273-280 in Raewyn Connell, Masculinités: Enjeux sociaux de l’hégémonie. Paris: Éditions Amsterdam, 2014.Marcelo C. Rosa. 2014. "Theories of the South: Limits and perspectives of an emergent movement in social sciences". Current Sociology, published online 24 February 2014, DOI: 10.1177/0011392114522171.
Marianne Schmidbaur. 2013. “Raewyn Connell (*1944)”. Pp. 92-98 in Marianne Schmidbaur, Helma Lutz & Ulla Wischermann, ed., Klassikerinnen feministischer Theorie: Grundlagentexte Band III (ab 1986). Sulzbach am Taunus: Ulrike Helmer Verlag.
Scholarly controversies: Raewyn Connell's Southern Theory. In Political Power and Social Theory, 2013, vol. 25: Decentering Social Theory. This has the following papers: Mustafa Emirbayer, 'A sociological breakthrough, not a sociological guilt trip', 131-136; Patricia Hill Collins, 'Critical interventions in Western social theory: reflections on power and Southern Theory', 137-146; Raka Ray, 'Connell and postcolonial sociology', 147-156; Isaac Ariail Reed, 'Theoretical labors necessary for a global sociology: critique of Raewyn Connell's Southern Theory', 157-171; Raewyn Connell, 'Under Southern skies', 173-182
Gregor McLennan. 2013. "Postcolonial critique: the necessity of sociology". Political Power and Social Theory, vol. 24: Postcolonial Sociology, 119-144.
Mónica De Martino Bermúdez. 2013. “Connell y el concepto de masculinidades hegemónicas: notas críticas desde la obra de Pierre Bourdieu.” Revista Estudos Feministas, vol. 21 no. 1, 283-300.
Milica Antic Gaber. Onkraj binarnosti in dihotomij. Pp. 342-370 in Raewyn Connell, Moskosti, Ljubljana, Zalozba Krtina, 2012. (In Slovenian.)
Christine Beasley. Problematizing contemporary Men/Masculinities theorizing: the contribution of Raewyn Connell and conceptual-terminological tensions today. British Journal of Sociology, 2012, vol. 63 no. 4, 747-765.
Connell Turns South. Article by Kevin Murray, Arena Magazine, 2010, no. 105, 8-10.
Futoshi Taga, "Masculinities as gender: RW Connell, Gender and Power, Masculinities", in Shun Inoue and Kimio Ito, ed., Modern Family and Gender, Kyoto, Sekaishisosha, 2010. (In Japanese.)
Re-thinking “Gender and Power”. Presidential session at Annual Conference of Social Science History Association, Chicago, 19 November 2010. Organized by the SSHA President, Ann Orloff, this examined Gender and Power and Raewyn’s subsequent work. Speakers were Kathleen Canning (University of Michigan), Claire Decoteau (University of Illinois at Chicago), Myra Marx Ferree (University of Wisconsin-Madison) and Raka Ray (University of California, Berkeley).
Gender and Power in Global Perspective: The Work of Raewyn Connell, forum at the annual conference of the American Sociological Association, 10 August 2009. Speakers were Joan Acker (University of Oregon), Patricia Yancey Martin (North Carolina State University) and Raka Ray (University of California, Berkeley).
Fang Gang, “Connell’s masculinity theory”, pp. 454-459 in Liu Shaojie, ed., Current Foreign Sociological Theories, China Renmin University Press House, 2009. [In Chinese.]
Marília Carvalho, "Raewyn Connell: A construção de novas identidades de gênero", Pedagogia Contemporânea, (Brazil) September 2009, 76-90. (In Portuguese.)
Southern Theory: review symposium in British Journal of Sociology of Education, 2008, vol. 29 no. 6, 719-725.
Fang Gang, “Review on Connell and her gender theory”, Collection of Women’s Studies, 2008, vol. 2, 10-14, 53. [In Chinese.]
Mimi Schippers. 2007. “Recovering the feminine other: masculinity, femininity, and gender hegemony”. Theory and Society, vol. 36, 85-102.
Fidelma Ashe, "Raewyn Connell: Masculinities, Power and Alliance Politics", pp. 143-156 in The New Politics of Masculinity, London, Routledge, 2007.
Robert Connell: paradigmas de las masculinidades, seminar at Universidad de la Habana, Cuba, 24 October 2007.
Nikki Wedgwood, "Robert W. Connells Theorie der Männlichkeit und ihre Entstehungsgeschichte", pp. 216-239 in Beate Kortendiek and A. Senganata Münst, ed., Lebenswerke: Porträts der Frauen- und Geschlechterforschung, Opladen, Budrich, 2005.
Demetrakis Zannettos Demetriou, Adventures of a Diasporic Intellectual: R. W. Connell, from social class to the synthetic turn in gender analysis, PhD thesis, Department of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Sydney, 2005.
Ruling Class, Ruling Culture conference. Melbourne,19-21 July 2002. Organized by the journal Overland and colleagues at the University of Melbourne, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Ruling Class, Ruling Culture and bring together current research. A book based on the conference was published subsequently: N. Hollier, ed., Ruling Australia, Melbourne, Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2004. Among the chapters, see Demetris Z. Demetriou, "Towards a genealogy of R.W.Connell's notion of 'structure', 1971-1977", pp. 24-44.
Steve Hall, “Daubing the drudges of fury: men, violence and the piety of the ‘hegemonic masculinity’ thesis”; Tony Jefferson, “Subordinating hegemonic masculinity”; with reply by Raewyn. Theoretical Criminology, 2002, vol. 6 no. 1, 35-99.
Lyn Yates, "Effectiveness, difference and sociological research"; Martin Thrupp, "Making the Difference: 20 years on"; Madeleine Arnot, "Making the Difference to Sociology of Education: reflections on family-school and gender relations". Symposium on Making the Difference, twenty years after first publication, in Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 2002, vol. 23 no. 3, 319-355.
Demetrakis Z. Demetriou, "Connell's concept of hegemonic masculinity: a critique", Theory and Society, 2001, vol. 30, 337-361.
Invitational conference on masculinity research, Mexico City, 25-27 September 2000. The Gender Studies Program at the National University of Mexico (UNAM) ran a three-day conference in which gender researchers discussed Raewyn’s approach to conceptualizing masculinity, methodology in masculinity research, and theorizing gender.
M. Wetherell and N. Edley, "Negotiating hegemonic masculinity: imaginary positions and psycho-discursive practices", Feminismand Psychology, 1999, vol. 9 no. 3, 335-356.
Gender Research and Gender Democracy conference, Bochum, 2 June 1999. Organized by the Marie-Jahoda program, Ruhr-University Bochum: an invitational conference around Raewyn’s work, with participants from across Germany.
Randall Collins, "A sociological guilt trip: comment on Connell", American Journal of Sociology, 1997, vol. 102 no. 6, 1558-64.
Masculinities: featured reviews in Contemporary Sociology, 1996, vol. 25 no. 2, 166-174.
Masculinities: review symposium in Journal of Gender Studies, 1996, vol. 5 no. 2, 249-252.
Zarina Maharaj, "A social theory of gender: Connell's Gender and Power", Feminist Review, 1995, no. 49, 50-65.
Gender and Power: review essay in Sociological Forum, 1990, vol. 5 no. 2, 301-310.
Making the Difference: review essay and reply in CurriculumPerspectives, 1985, vol. 5 no. 2, 15-31.
Which Way is Up? review essay in Thesis Eleven, 1984/85, no. 10/11, 255-260.
Class Structure in Australian History: review symposium in Historical Studies, 1981, vol. 19, no. 76, 440-453.