HC 232H: Policing Masculinities

Professor: Tobin Hansen

4.00 credits

  • CRN 22613: Tuesday & Thursday, 1415-1545 @ REMOTE
  • CRN 22614: Tuesday & Thursday, 1015-1145 @ REMOTE

This course explores the shifting meanings; expressions; and social, cultural, and political implications of masculinities from a comparative cultural perspective. We will examine masculinities—considering gender alongside other aspects of social difference such as race, class, nationality, sexuality, language, and ability—in U.S. and transnational cross-cultural contexts. The course will also focus on ways that state power reflects, configures, and is configured by notions of gender and other social differences.

The course title, “Policing Masculinities,” has two meanings. It refers to the policing of masculinities in the broadest sense—the ways that gender norms are shaped, understood, enacted, and enforced—and, moreover, on the intersections of racialized masculinities with “policing” in the stricter sense of law enforcement; jails and prisons; and immigration enforcement and deportation. The course considers various pathways of socialization into toxic, hyper-, or aggressive masculinities as well as into nurturing and collaborative masculinities and connections between masculinities and state power, especially that of the U.S. federal government.

After a brief overview of biological and sex role approaches to gender studies, the course moves quickly to focus principally on masculinities as cultural constructions that take form within constellations of gendered practices and perceptions that exist in relation to race and other facets of social difference. Having set out this conceptual framework, the course goes on to consider the relationships between social identities and state mechanisms of social control.