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Social Representations of Masculinity in Mexican Youth’s Creative Narratives

Robyn Singleton, Jacqueline Carter, Tatianna Alencar, Alicia Piñeirúa-Menéndez and Kate Winskell

Keywords: companionate relationships; hegemonic masculinity; Mexico; narrative analysis; social representations; youth

A study of 50 narratives (16 male-authored, 34 female-authored, ages 13–16) contributed to a scriptwriting competition by Mexican youth from Oaxaca State was undertaken to understand youth social representations of hegemonic masculinity. Representations of masculinity manifested within three domains: substance use, companionate or abusive relationships, and economic roles. Positively portrayed male characters maintained companionate relationships and economically provided for loved ones. Rejection of abusive rural male characters who misuse financial resources occurred via condemnatory language and tragic outcomes. The young authors highlight financial control as a key element of Mexican masculinity, but this control goes unchallenged if dependents benefit. The rejection of a macho hegemonic masculinity in favor of a companionate relationship model mirrors historic trends in Mexico regarding migration, gender, class, and modernity.

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