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Becoming a Super-Masculine “Cool Guy”

Reflexivity, Dominant and Hegemonic Masculinities, and Sexual Violence

James W. Messerschmidt

Abstract

In this article the author builds on the arguments articulated by Raewyn Connell in her seminal work The Men and the Boys (2000) by summarizing and analyzing a case study of an adolescent boy who was identified at school as a “wimp” and who eventually engaged in sexual violence. Such subordinated boys rarely are—if at all—discussed in childhood education, sociology, and feminist literatures on violence. The synopsis reveals the interrelationship among in-school bullying, reflexivity, embodiment, and the social construction of dominant and hegemonic masculinities through the commission of adolescent sexual violence. The analysis demonstrates the continued relevance of Connell's work, and the author builds on and expands on Connell's formulation through, in particular, an examination of reflexivity, dominant masculinities, different types of hegemonic masculinities, and intersectionality.