Lumb, Marcus (2011) The Transcendence of Vulnerability During Relations between Men. In: Understanding the Social World Conference 2011, 13th - 15th July 2011, University of Huddersfield. (Unpublished)

Hegemonic masculinity is viewed by some scholars as granting and legitimating men’s subordination of women and marginalised groups of men (Connell, 2008). A criticism is that it seems to imply that all men are united in a deliberate attempt to subordinate these groups (New, 2001). It also ignores literature suggesting men predominantly demonstrate masculinity during relations between men (Phillips, 2007), and the unlikelihood of men’s multiple identities all constituting demonstrations of masculinity (Vogel et al, 2003).

This poster would propose the different perspective that heterosexual men, during relations between men, gravitate to a common notion of successful masculinity indicative of the transcendence of vulnerability. Rather than aiming to subordinate the aforementioned groups, men are individually motivated by the aim of avoiding subordination. Competing as rivals, men’s behaviours can be viewed to constitute individual fears of subordination rather than a united lust for power. This concurs with literature suggesting men’s individual demonstrations of masculinity are motivated by personal concerns of ostracism during relations between men (Phillips, 2007). The subordination of women could be viewed to emerge, not as a key goal, but as a by-product of this.

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