Care Politics and the Costs of Hegemonic Masculinity: An Examination Through Laura Florand’s Transformative Popular Romance Narratives (78696)

Session Information: Gender in Literature
Session Chair: Kyung Lee Gagum

Sunday, 26 May 2024 11:25
Session: Session 2
Room: Room 705
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

This paper explores the nuanced portrayal of masculinity in Laura Florand's romance novels, utilizing what Karla Elliott calls "Caring Masculinities" as a foundational lens. Florand's narratives provide compelling examples of kinships and friendships to analyze gender performance within and between masculinities and femininities, navigating the interplay of tradition, personal transformation, and the challenges of a rapidly changing world. Aligning with postfeminist notions that recognize the contextual nature of gendered experiences, the study investigates how Florand's protagonists navigate the pitfalls of hegemonic masculinity-- violence against others and self, emotional isolation, guilt, high-risk behavior, lack of self-care, poor health, and impoverished relationships-- addressing the human vulnerability intrinsic to the 'Liquid Modern' times posited by Zygmunt Bauman. By examining the integration of values of care, such as interdependence and relationality, into masculine identities within narrative resolutions, the paper raises broader questions of what is deemed pleasurable and fulfilling in contemporary popular romance. Finally, it explores how Florand's works respond to Janice Radway's criticism of the genre, specifically addressing the challenge of nurturing gentleness in men within family dynamics that repress such capacities, reinforcing tenderness as a perceived weakness.

Aswathi Prakash, Indian Institute of Technology, India

About the Presenter(s)
Ms Aswathi Prakash is a University Doctoral Student at Indian Institute of Technology, Ropar in India

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00