20 Pages

The Glass Phallus

Pub(lic) Masculinity and Drinking in Rural New Zealand
WithHugh Campbell

This chapter reports the findings of an ethno-graphic study of men’s pub drinking in rural New Zealand. By using the idea of hegemonic masculinity and incorporating theoretical ideas of gender performativity, it focuses on aspects of drinking performance that are central to the establishment of hegemony by a particular version of masculinity. Using the metaphor of the “glass phallus,” the chapter engages with the difficulties of analyzing an invisible masculinity and argues that rendering masculinity visible is an important task for any sociological analysis of public leisure sites in rural society and the embodied performance of alcohol consumption by men in public spaces. It presents ethnographic data to demonstrate that through the public performance of masculinity, dominant understandings of legitimate masculine behavior are reinforced and defended. When pub behavior is linked with the wider empowerment of men in one rural community, it becomes clear that rural pubs are far from idyllic and must undergo a revision within rural sociology.