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Theory and Society

Publication date: 2019-04
Volume: 48 Pages: 239 - 265
ISSN: 0304-2421, 1573-7853
DOI: 10.1007/s11186-019-09346-4
Publisher: Springer Verlag


Slootmaeckers, Koen


Social Sciences, Sociology, Gender and nationalism, Heteronationalism, Homonationalism, Relational sociology, Sexuality, Sexual nationalism, RETHINKING HEGEMONIC MASCULINITY, SEXUAL VIOLENCE, GENDER, POLITICS, WOMEN, WAR, MEN, CITIZENSHIP, ORIENTALISM, FEMININITY, 1606 Political Science, 1608 Sociology


How are masculinity and nationalism intertwined? This question has received scant theoretical attention, and existing theories tent to focus on their shared ideals and are embedded in a heteronormative, homophobic and patriarchal framework. Such views imply a static relationship between both phenomena, and are incompatible with the recent phenomenon of homonationalism and the incorporation of some homosexual bodies within the nation. Addressing this theoretical gap, this article develops a more holistic framework of the relationship between nationalism and masculinity. Drawing on relational sociology, it conceptualises nationalism as competing masculinities. It argues that the link between masculinities and nationalism is not found in their overlapping substantive ideals, but rather that the two phenomena are co-constructed through their overlapping Othering processes. The proposed theoretical framework does not only provide a more dynamic understanding of the link between masculinity and nationalism, but it also helps to overcomes the apparent duality between homonationalism and heteronationalism. It is shown that both phenomena are in fact two sides of the same coin, with the main difference between them being the location of homophobia as a technology of Othering within different type of Self/Other relations. Overall, the article provides an analytical tool that allows for the contextualisation and understanding of seemingly contradicting features of nationalism and its relationship to masculinity.