Jun 19, 2024  
College Catalog 2021-2022 
College Catalog 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

WGSS 185 - Masculinities

Cross-Listed as SOCI 185  
We have seen a burst of writing and thinking about men in the past several decades. Many of these writings argue that as more women are excelling professionally, earning more college degrees than their male counterparts and acting as the family breadwinner, the traditional gender landscape is quickly fading into what they identify as a matriarchy. According to this view, men, having falling from their privileged place in society, are being out competed by women for the most prestigious occupations and are now becoming emasculated in the process. We will critically explore the debate that this perspective has engendered, looking at not only the facts of whether this is true or not, but the cultural anxieties and fantasies such a perceived closure of the alpha male trope has produced. We will begin with the idea that manhood has a history, that it is a human creation rather than an edict from above or from nature. Some of the key questions we will ask are: How has manhood changed in the United States since the 19th century? Are there different forms of masculinities, especially when we take into account social indicators like class, race, and ethnicity? Can masculinity take on chameleon forms that in the past seemed antithetical to masculinity, like geeks, cosmopolitans, metrosexuals, or in upper-class gentlemanly cultures? Are we experiencing an emerging hybrid or inclusionary forms of masculinities or are these simply a repackaging of the old? Alternate years. (4 Credits)