Negotiating hegemonic masculinity: Imaginary positions and psycho-discursive practices

Wetherell, Margaret and Edley, Nigel (1999). Negotiating hegemonic masculinity: Imaginary positions and psycho-discursive practices. Feminism & Psychology, 9(3) pp. 335–356.



In this article we provide a critical analysis of the concept of hegemonic masculinity. We argue that although this concept embodies important theoretical insights, it is insufficiently developed as it stands to enable us to understand how men position themselves as gendered beings. In particular it offers a vague and imprecise account of the social psychological reproduction of male identities. We outline an alternative critical discursive psychology of masculinity. Drawing on data from interviews with a sample of men from a range of ages and from diverse occupational backgrounds, we delineate three distinctive, yet related, procedures or psycho-discursive practices, through which men construct themselves as masculine. The political implications of these discursive practices, as well as the broader implications of treating the psychological process of identification as a form of discursive accomplishment, are also discussed.

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