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Political, domestic, and economic life is dominated by networks of powerful men. In Masculinity and Power Arthur Brittan analyses this state of affairs. He looks at the way in which biologists, psychologists and social scientists have attempted to explain masculinity and patriarchy in terms of simplistic models of human nature and social relationships. Drawing upon recent discussions of writers such as Foucault, Lacan and O'Brien, he highlights the central question of whether masculinity is a social construct, or actually rooted in evolutionary imperatives. The author argues that the ideology of patriarchy, 'the masculine ideology', is a limiting mode of thought and practice predicated upon heterosexuality. He goes on to consider what the real impact of feminism upon the world's male power broker has been whether in the last decades of the twentieth century the balance of power between the sexes is changing.
Arthur Brittan works in the Department of Sociology at the University of York. He is the author with Mary Maynard of
Sexism, Racism and Oppression (1984).