Hegemonic Masculinity and “Badness”

How Young Women Bargain with Patriarchy “On Road”

in Boyhood Studies
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  • 1 The Open University, UK c.choak@open.ac.uk
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Abstract

The relationship between masculinity, crime, and violence has a long history, whereby hegemonic masculinity is utilized as a resource to create and sustain tough reputations “on road”, where everyday lives are played out on urban streets. Within the context of road culture—of which gangs are part—this is particularly significant given the hypermasculine focus. This paper considers Raewyn Connell's (1995; 1997; 2000) work on hegemonic masculinity and emphasized femininity and develops it in new directions by exploring how these hegemonic identities are inscribed on women's bodies. In the English context, the dominant discourse around young women “on road” is of that of passivity, as they are victims first and offenders second. An underexplored area is their role as perceived “honorary men” when adopting behavior associated with hegemonic masculinity, therefore how they bargain with patriarchy within these spaces is explored.

Contributor Notes

Clare Choak has devoted her academic career to the study of young people from deprived areas, with a particular focus on the intersection of class, gender and race. Her work takes a black and postcolonial approach to the study of young women who are entrenched in “badness” as part of “on road” culture. She was motivated to undertake this research due to the dominant discourses in academia, policy, and the media which position young women in England as victims first, and offenders second. Email: c.choak@open.ac.uk

Boyhood Studies

An Interdisciplinary Journal

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