Landscapes of Masculinities
DOI link for Landscapes of Masculinities
Landscapes of Masculinities book
This chapter draws on psychoanalytic theory, cultural and postcolonial theory to render masculine subjectivity more visible and to prise apart the commonplace notion that masculinity is 'natural' and can be taken for granted. The history of colonialism and socio-political conditions are internalised; they are not just on the skin, but pulse through perceptions, experiences, representations, fantasies and relationships of self and other. The ideology of masculinity is inhabited, as Kaja Silverman explores in Male Subjectivity at the Margins, 1992, through the symbolic order that is incorporated unconsciously and without rationality. The chapter argues that psychoanalysis provides the most persuasive and troubling account of sexual difference and understanding of the perpetuation of hierarchies within diverse masculinities and, of course, across masculinity and femininity. Psychoanalytic theory is based on the view that the past is inescapable and that our 'inner landscapes are peopled with burdens of history a history not of our own choosing unfolds in the deepest recesses of the mind'.