Caste & Masculinity: A Critique of R.W. Connell's Theory on Masculinity
Urvashi Singh

In his conceptualization of masculinities, the renowned scholar R.W. Connell (1995) suggests that masculinity is not a coherent object of study, especially if understood in isolation. Through his combined analysis of gender, race and class, Connell delivers a compact theorization of masculinities- a contribution to the field of gender studies that is unparalleled till date. However, what were to happen to Connell‟s theory if it were transposed to the complex social matrix of India? How does the dynamic cross-section of gender, class and race get affected with the addition of a caste filter? In other words, would Connell‟s theorization survive the Indian socio-political terrain despite the nuanced social factor of caste? In my article, I expand on the relational dynamics of masculinity as stipulated by Connell. I then challenge the validity of Connell‟s theorizations by studying them through the shifting kaleidoscope of gender, caste, race and class, throwing light on a slanted interplay between masculinity and its contradictions. After providing relevant examples from Anandhi et al‟s field study on masculinities (2002), I conclude my article by highlighting the crucial importance of this interplay towards the longevity of masculinity as a stabilizing factor of multiple patriarchies.

Full Text: PDF      DOI: 10.15640/ijgws.v5n2a11