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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/30053

Title: Narratives of Violence: The Relationship of Masculinity and Ableism
Authors: Saczkowski, Thomas
Keywords: Masculinity
Critical Disability Studies
Standpoint Theory
Issue Date: 20-Nov-2011
Abstract: As powerful ideologies, masculinity and ableism inculcate a set of norms, values, and behaviours within particular social structures and social actors. To understand the social meanings and operations of ideologies, I will be using a form of dialectical analysis to understand masculinity as contingent on its social relations and conditions. The theoretical analysis will examine how these two social constructions are intertwined and rely on each other to maintain power and influence. I will use Gramsci’s theory of hegemony to argue that both ableism and masculinity are hegemonic ideologies that act both on personal and structural levels. In describing masculinity, I will argue that the common and popular socialization of the masculine gender is connected with patriarchy and that it operates to benefit and supplement patriarchal dominance. I will articulate how ableism plays out to define a certain kind of masculinity and also to uphold ableist social structures in Canadian society. The project will be organized into four different sections: (1) methodology; (2) systemic violence through class structures; (3) boys physical violence; and (4) the implications for community organizing. The section on class structures will examine the masculinity-ableism relationship through the mechanisms of capitalism and neoliberalism (Harvey, 2007). Using a historical materialist analysis, I will reveal how the capitalist neoliberal state of Canada influences the formation of oppressive gender identities (Bannerji, 2000; Gorman, 2005; Razack, 2002). I will argue that capitalism operates as systemic violence that influences societal relations (Crow, 1996). This section is essential for a comprehensive analysis of the complexities of the formation of gender-identity oppression. An investigation of the social structures of capitalism will provide an analysis of masculinity-ableism that shows the materialist functions of oppressive ideologies (Gleeson, 1997; Mills, 2000). This analysis of capitalism will be used to understand the class relations that are imbedded in the masculinity-ableism relationship. Additionally, in analyzing my standpoint and lived experiences I will investigate how masculinity-abliesm is articulated by people of different classes in interpersonal relationships (Barker, 2010; Peterson, 2005). Though masculinity and ableism operate through social structures that produce various forms of violence, I will specifically analyze physical violence to explore the connection between masculinity and ableism. The section on boys physical violence will provide a theoretical framework of early identity constructions and how physical violence manifests for boys (Connell, 1994; hooks, 2004; Kaufman, 2007). The boys physical violence section I will utilize popular media examples of children’s literature and film, which will identify how such identities are constructed discursively from a young age (Ostrander, 2008; Nodelman, 2001). The literature and film that I will be examining will be ones that are related to my own history of socialization, such as, The Beauty and The Beast, Superman, and Peter Rabbit (Nodelman, 2001; hooks, 2004). Lastly, my final section will examine how masculinity-ableism is addressed within community organizing and activist culture. As the goal and intention of this paper is to provide a theoretical analysis that advances our understanding of oppressive societal relations, an examination of the implications of the work for concrete social justice activism is essential.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/30053
Appears in Collections:Peer-reviewed graduate students publications

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