Lives at the center of the periphery, lives at the periphery of the center: Chinese American masculinities and bargaining with hegemony

Anthony S. Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

135 Scopus citations

Abstract

A decade ago, the "new sociology of masculinity" (NSM) emerged as an exciting new paradigm for understanding gender, emphasizing the study of "hegemonic power relations" among men and women. However, subsequent research has not fully redeemed the promise of the NSM, failing to seriously engage the theoretical implications of studying hegemony. This article addresses the lacunae by presenting a theoretically informed analysis of life history interviews with Chinese American men. Its chief empirical question is how Chinese American men "achieve" masculinity in the face of negative stereo-types. This is accomplished, it is found, through four possible gender strategies: compensation, deflection, denial, or repudiation. The author then fashions a theoretical account of these strategies to show how they can reproduce the social order by striking a hegemonic bargain, which occurs when a Chinese American man's gender strategy involves consciously trading on - or unconsciously taking advantage of - the "privileges" of his race, gender, class, generation, and/or sexuality for the purposes of elevating his masculinity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)584-607
Number of pages24
JournalGender and Society
Volume13
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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