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Are we up to it? For instance, if the working class struggle was often seen to be a male specific struggle, a man who aspired to social or professional mobility would find himself qualified with feminine attributes. Teresa de Lauretis understands the system of gender identification as both a sociocultural construction and a semiotic tool, i. As signifying codes and operative fictions are propagated through different media, so the increased social exchanges allow for our understanding of such notions as masculinity to be moved forward.

Further, with new technology speeding up communication on a global scale and the development of new media allowing for a proliferation of messages targeting evermore sub-defined social groups, we can expect masculinity to continue pluralizing and fragmenting. This may result in a retreat from the threat of cultural disorder into the security of ethnicity, traditionalism or fundamentalism […].

The availability of new media, however, means that the local need no longer be defined by a sense of place and can identify communities that share specific common interests across the planet like the virtual communities analysed by Gourarier. Having recognised the importance of what were to become new technologies, McLuhan spoke famously of the global village, where the worldwide communication of local cultures allows the individual to escape the conformity of society:.

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The global-village conditions being forced by the electric technology stimulate more discontinuity and diversity and division than the old mechanical, standardized society; in fact, the global village makes maximum disagreement and creative dialog inevitable. Indeed, even the most hermetic totalitarian regime can be subverted through samizdats, irony and parody, armed resistance, silence. It is not automatic, and may be disrupted — or even disrupt itself.

Further to this, Connell reminds us that different media offer a stage for the performance of hegemonic masculinity, which then feeds back into society guaranteeing us the comfort of our own received ideas on gender practice:. Hegemonic masculinity can be defined as the configuration of gender practice which embodies the currently accepted answer to the problem of the legitimacy of patriarchy, which guarantees or is taken to guarantee the dominant position of men and the subordination of women […].

They may be exemplars, such as film actors, or even fantasy figures, such as film characters. At one level, a crisis can be understood simply as a critical point that requires some form of resolution through decisive action. If the crisis is not resolved then a point of no return is reached. A system is a structure which draws on natural resources from its environment to transform them into a product from consumer goods to the health service and Habermas came to see a crisis as a failure in such a system.

For Connell, however, it is difficult to talk of a crisis of masculinity because masculinity itself is not a system. We must, therefore, return to the question of gender practice:. Masculinity […] is not a system in that sense. It is, rather, a configuration of practice within a system of gender relations. We cannot logically speak of the crisis of a configuration; rather we might speak of its disruption or its transformation. We can, however, logically speak of the crisis of a gender order as a whole, and of its tendencies towards crisis. In this way, when we read of a crisis of masculinity perhaps we must understand it as a failure of operative fictions within gender relations recognized as such and requiring decisive action for social codifications and practices to evolve.

Habermas: The Key Concepts : Andrew Edgar :

In this way, the media and mediated representations become the voice of authority that dictate and forbid certain social roles for men and performances of masculinity; they become the purveyors of the hegemonic masculinity of the time. On the other hand, they draw upon rather atavistic ideas — an amalgam of common sense and scientific theories — making appeals to an earlier imaginary gendered social order, based on biological differences between men and women. In light of media representations this is perhaps the most prevalent system we have discussed, where the performance of masculinity corresponds to the social consensus.

This is how the semiotic strategy functions, as a system that attributes signs of symbolic value that attempt to differentiate between masculinity and femininity. Finally, the most commonly available signifying codes are born out of the essentialist strategy where certain behaviour traits and characteristics are held to be biological truths.

Habermas public sphere

In this way men are genetically programmed to buy technological gadgets and fight wars. Gender practice, both in performance and representation, is socially and culturally constituted through bonds that connect people together. In the words of Connell:. However, Butler's notion of performance also opens the possibility of playing with the norm, so that one is not bound to the values that certain media representations convey.

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With the popularity of action movies in the s a new crossover genre developed combining action and homosocial relationships producing such film franchises as 48 Hrs 40 and Lethal Weapon , 41 where idealized images of the male hero are offset by expressions of a masculinity in crisis. Online communities have moved the concept of societies from the local to the global allowing for an unprecedented upscaling of potential affinities. In both cases, however, the collaborative nature of Web 2.

Here, masculinities appear to be performed knowingly, as if the passing of time has afforded these male artists the distance necessary for social reflexivity. The conference was part of the two-year transdisciplinary research project Performing Straight White Masculinities , sponsored by the Sorbonne Nouvelle's research council. Butler, Judith. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity. London: Routledge, De Lauretis, Teresa. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, Dudink, Stefan.

In European Journal of Cultural Studies 1 : Grant, C. Literary Communication from Consensus to Rupture. Theory and Practice. Translated by John Viertel. Boston, MA: Beacon Press, Legitimation Crisis. Translated by Thomas McCarthy. London: Heinemann, Halberstam, Judith.

Female Masculinity. Durham: Duke University Press, Hall, Donald E. Abingdon: Routledge, Men and Masculinities. Buckingham: Open University Press, Kimmel, Michel S. Society 30, no. McLuhan, Marshall. Meet the Parents.

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Harry Potter. Popular Features. New Releases. Habermas: The Key Concepts. An easy-to-use A-Z guide to a body of work that spans philosophy, sociology, politics, law and cultural theory, Habermas: The Key Concepts explores Habermas' writings on: capitalism genetics law neo-conservatism universal pragmatics. Fully cross-referenced with extensive suggestions for further reading, this is an essential reference guide to one of the most important social theorists of the last century. Product details Format Paperback pages Dimensions x x Other books in this series.

Add to basket. Cinema Studies Susan Hayward. Fifty Contemporary Choreographers Jo Butterworth. Fifty Major Philosophers Kathryn Plant. Table of contents Acknowledgements. List of Key Concepts. Rating details. Book ratings by Goodreads. Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book.