Raewyn Connell

Raewyn Connell (formerly Robert William Connell, born January 3, 1944) is an Australian social scientist known for her work in the disciplines of sociology, education, gender studies, political science and history. She is currently a Professor at the University of Sydney's Faculty of Education and Social Work, and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences.

Work

Connell's work deals critically with culture, media and politics in the context of hegemony, especially hegemonic masculinity. She is primarily recognised for her analysis of masculinities"; her book, Masculinities, is a widely-cited text that is said to have had significant influence on early research in the field. Since its original publication in 1995, the book has been translated into several languages.

Criticism

Connell's work has come under some criticism, with respect to two of the pillars that support much of her theory: hegemonic masculinity, and the "patriarchal dividend". On the former, it is argued by Drs. Beasly and Elias, in their paper Situating Masculinities in Global Politics (2006), that there is enough categorical "slippage" in the way Connell articulates the concept of hegemonic masculinity to make it less authoritative than Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci's original thesis of hegemony, which Connell obviously builds upon in her work. This opposing argument is, in short, that there are considerable differences between forms of dominant masculinities; more than Connell's theory acknowledges.

Concerning the latter, Connell states that the patriarchal dividend – her phrase used to mean the "honour, prestige... the right to command... [and also] material dividend[s]", given to men under a patriarchy – may not be uniformly distributed among men, but is, nevertheless, universally distributed among them. In a paper for the UNDP's Gender in Development series, Greig, Kimmel and Lang write: "But it is equally clear that men's 'patriarchal dividend' is mediated by economic class, social status, race, ethnicity, sexuality and age... " The approach reflected in the UNDP paper is one of finding possible connections between men and women across the "patriarchal divide", as a result of the disempowerment of both (men being disempowered by other, more powerful men or men who are the victims of violent and dominant masculinity within their own patriarchy), in contrast to Connell's more unilateral approach.

Selected bibliography

Year Title Publisher
1977
Ruling Class, Ruling Culture: Studies of Conflict, Power and Hegemony in Australian Life Cambridge University Press
1980
grey|(Co-written)}} Longman Cheshire
1982
grey|(Co-written)}} Allen & Unwin
1987
Gender and Power: Society, the Person and Sexual Politics Allen & Unwin
1995
Masculinities Allen & Unwin
2000
grey|(Co-edited)}} UNESCO Publishing

Index: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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