Regency Masculinity? Napoleonic War Veterans and Explaining Change in the History of Masculinities

Karen Downing

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    How do notions, expectations, and behaviours of masculinity change over time? This perplexing issue for historians was recently tackled by Ben Griffn in a sophisticated and challenging re-examination of R.W. Connell’s work on ‘hegemonic masculinity’. Griffn identifes the key problems of Connell’s model as articulated by historians over the past two decades: questioning its functionalism, its treatment of femininity, its oversimplifcation that creates an unwarranted stability, its lack of detail on questions of scale, its problematic ontology, and, what Griffn terms, its situational identity problem—its inability to recognise that individual men move between masculinities in the course of their lives, or even their days. Rather than abandon Connell’s model, Griffn offers some provocative modifcations that might equip historians of masculinity to make ‘meaningful generalisations about change over time’ and produce more ‘incisive
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationNegotiating Masculinities and Modernity in the Maritime World
    Editors Karen Downing, Johnathan Thayer, Joanne Begiato
    Place of PublicationNew York
    PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
    ISBN (Print)978-3-030-77946-7
    Publication statusPublished - 2021


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