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5. Theorising Masculinity

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About this Lecture


In this module, we think about men and masculinity, focusing in particular on: (i) the idea of masculinity as a changeable, contestable concept that is open to questioning, and how masculinity is understood today; (ii) the concept of hegemonic masculinity, i.e. behaviours and characteristics that define what a ‘real man’ is, what he looks like, how he acts, etc.; (iii) three key concepts associated with hegemonic masculinity – subordination, complicity and marginalisation; (iv) the concept of toxic masculinity, i.e. a version of masculinity that is harmful both to society and to men themselves; (v) the key socio-economic and cultural changes that have led to a reconfiguration of gender relations in the last couple of decades; and (vi) the potential impacts of this reconfiguration.


In this module, Dr Shelley Budgeon (University of Birmingham) explores feminism and some of the core ideas that constitute feminist thought. In the first module, we introduce some of the key concepts that are important in contemporary feminist theory. After that, in the following two modules, we think about the history of feminism, beginning in the second module with an exploration of first- and second-wave feminism and turning in the third module to Marxist and Postmodernist approaches to feminism. In the fourth module, we think about the concept of intersectionality, one of the most important developments in feminist thought of the past twenty years. In the fifth module, we think about how we theorise masculinity and the role masculinity plays in gender inequality. Finally, in the sixth module, we explore some of the current debates in feminism today – its achievements, what still needs to be done, and where we might be going next.


Dr Shelley Budgeon is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology who specializes in gender and feminist theory. Her research analyses the impact of various forces of social change on the constitution of gender relations and the performance of gendered identities. Her expertise encompasses theories of gendered subjectivity; feminist politics; gender, postfeminism and neoliberalism; sexuality and personal life; embodiment; theories of new materialism; and the structure of gendered organizations. Her books include Third Wave Feminism and the Politics of Gender in Late Modernity (Palgrave, 2011) and Choosing a Self: Young Women and the Individualization of Identity (Praegar, 2003).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Budgeon, S. (2020, February 18). Feminism - Theorising Masculinity [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Budgeon, S. "Feminism – Theorising Masculinity." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 18 Feb 2020,