Narratives of Masculinity by Egyptian Media Professionals and Media Audiences

By Joel Abdelmoez
Submitted to Session S4005 (Undergraduate Research Workshop Poster Session, 2014 Annual Meeting
Media Arts
Cultural Studies; Gender/Women's Studies; Identity/Representation; Media;
This study aims to explore the representations of masculinity in Egyptian media, and the perception of masculinity among their audiences. It is a mixed methods study, beginning with a qualitative pre-study consisting of interviews with Egyptian media professionals and media audiences in order to determine a common narrative in describing masculinity. This is done as a part of a Minor Field Study (MFS), conducted in Egypt during the fall of 2014. Much like in Grounded Theory Method, the initial data collection will lead to a number of indicators, or concepts, that are commonly used to create images of masculinity. After categorizing, these concepts are used in a quantitative content analysis (cluster analysis) designed to test the representations of masculinity in news media.

By understanding how masculinity is constructed we come closer to understanding the rising problem of gendered violence that has plagued Egypt since the revolution in 2011. This can be related to previous studies, such as that by the masculinity theorist Michael Kimmel, sociologist Jeff Hearn and criminologist Antony Whitehead. An important aspect of this study is “hegemony”, a concept coined by Marxist Antonio Gramsci, and adapted for Masculinity Studies by the sociologist Raewyn Connell. “Hegemonic masculinity” refers to how dominant expressions of “manhood” maintain legitimacy and hierarchial superiority, both over other expressions of masculinity as well as femininities. This study aims to highlight the construction and reinforcement of this hierarchy in an Egyptian media context. It begins with representations in traditional news media, but may also be expanded to include for example social media and entertainment.