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Title: Negotiations of masculinity in Francophone men's writing
Author: Smith, Sophie Catherine
Awarding Body: Swansea University
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2009
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This thesis explores the fictional negotiations of masculinity in Francophone post-colonial literature written by three male authors: namely, Ousmane Sem bene's Xala, Rachid Boudjedra's La Repudiation and Tahar Ben Jelloun's Partir, L'Homme rompu and L'Enfant de sable. Drawing on sociological and gender theory, it examines the thematics of the novels and analyses constructions of masculine identity(-ies) in works of fiction. The study questions to what extent fictional representations reflect sociological premises on masculinity in Islamicate countries. Moreover, the thesis argues that there is a hierarchy within masculinity, and it explores how this gender order is portrayed in the novels, illustrating the constant process of negotiation and renegotiation between hegemonic, subordinate, marginalised and subversive positions of masculine identity. It therefore asserts that masculinities are pluralistic, and constitute fluid, unfixed and perpetually self-modifying phenomena. Above all, this thesis argues that the intense pressures exerted on men by society to live up to hegemonic versions of manliness, and the unnatural state of this constructed identity, lead to a general discontentment, manifested through emotional, psychological and physical afflictions. In addition, the study considers the influence of modernisation, neo-colonialism and male-female dynamics on the construction of masculine identities, and it analyses the ways in which masculine protagonists interact with the family, women, male peers and work colleagues, and society at large, as well the effects of this interaction on their sense of masculinity. The thesis contends that the theme of discontent acts as a motif for the masculine condition and for deconstructing masculinity. By challenging established normative gender ideology, it suggests that these authors issue a call for traditional formulations of masculinity(-ies) to be rewritten.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available