What is it about?

This paper summarises how the concept of 'hegemonic masculinity' has been used in research published in the journal 'Psychology of Men and Masculinities'. There has been a shift from number-crunching (quantitative) scale-based studies towards close-focused local studies (qualitative). The idea of hegemonic masculinity is usually defined as a set of personal characteristics, rather than as a social position in a gender system where men generally have authority and power. Problems arise about how masculinity is related to violence, and about the costs vs benefits of having privilege. Research convincingly shows the diversity to be found among men's lives within the USA and, to a lesser extent, in other developed countries. But this body of writing has little about the global South, where most of the world's people live.

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Why is it important?

This paper provides an explanation of the widely-used concept of hegemonic masculinity, and examples of how the concept can be well used in both quantitative and qualitative research on the psychology of men and masculinities. It suggests some new directions in which the research field might develop, including greater attention to postcolonial perspectives in psychology.


We hope this article proves helpful to researchers wishing to study diversity and hegemony in masculinities; and to practitioners applying perspectives drawn from psychological and social research.

Dr Nikki Wedgwood
The University of Sydney

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Deploying hegemonic masculinity: A study of uses of the concept in the journal Psychology of Men & Masculinities., Psychology of Men & Masculinity, December 2022, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/men0000417.
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