Matthew McIntosh


M.A. History - National University, La Jolla, CA, USA

B.A.  Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, USA

PhD Topic

A Figurational Study of Hypermasculinity in the United States

Third Year, Distance Learning

Brief Description of PhD topic

My thesis attempts to derive hypermasculinisation as a counter-process to functional democratisation to help explain the expansion (or contraction) of hypermasculinity within specific populations. I hypothesise that hypermasculnisation is a mechanism to reassert or redefine gender (specifically masculinities) through consistent changes to the balances of power.  Hypermasculinisation is facilitated by two key factors, motivated by a real or perceived change in the balance of power, working within a population:  (1) an effort to decrease the density of interconnectivity of social figurations.  This is characterised by a depacification of society and/or a disintegration of a public space (including inter-figurational dialogue) for figurations to interact.  Effort to decreased density is also demonstrated by an organisational abandonment of specific communities or a removal of public services.  (2) A decreased pressure towards rationalisation of conduct with the three hypermasculine characteristics increasingly encouraged and governed by the figuration (rather than internal constraints).  This is exhibited by more open displays of impulsive or emotive hypermasculinity—meaning that violence, attitudes towards danger, and beliefs about and treatment towards women being used by the figuration to regulate interactions and to define “true manhood”.  This is also exemplified by a decreasing psycho-social distance between childhood and adulthood and a general expansion of those members of the hegemonic male population with hypermasculine characteristics.

PhD Supervisors

Jason Hughes

John Goodwin


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