Introduction to the theme ‘Masculinity and violence in Spain and Latin America’

Jeff Browitt, Stewart King, Alfredo Martínez-Expósito

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Abstract

The first five articles in this edition of JILAS address the theme of masculinity and violence in Spain and Latin America. Despite—or perhaps because of—the proliferation of tropes of posturing machos, Latin lovers, vain, prancing toreros and enraged, jealous husbands, which are often peddled in the media and popular culture, the question of masculinity in Spanish and Latin American societies has been largely ignored in critical studies. In fact, the study of gender in these societies is usually limited to women and, to a lesser extent, gay men. The intention of this collection is to move beyond the stereotypes of masculine behaviour and discourse in these societies and to lay bare the intricate nexus between the rituals and practices of masculinity and their frequent manifestation in acts of violence. It has been problematically argued that violence is primarily attached to the masculine and knows no limits in terms of age, class, race, ethnicity or nationality. In contemporary Latina/Hispanic societies, as in many others, while women are sometimes complicit in domestic violence (abuse of children or homicidal revenge against spouses), it is masculine violence that is ubiquitous and rampant, whether in the domestic sphere of spousal and child abuse, in sexual aggression, or in the public sphere of extortion, robbery, gangs, sport, war and state violence. It has also been suggested that specific acts of violence such as terrorism, sabotage, and bullying are overwhelmingly performed by men. How is the nexus between masculinity and violence portrayed in cultural creation? In this collection of essays, literature and film provide pathways to understand the damaging conjunction of masculinity and violence for both society and the individual. An extended literature review of trans gender peoples forms a companion piece.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-3
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Iberian and Latin American Studies
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2006
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • masculinities
  • Spain
  • Latin America
  • gender

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