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Psychoanalytic theory and the problems of masculinity

The overdue 60s saw a rapidly materialising concern about the status of masculinity. Before the 60s it appeared that the thought of masculinity was safe - guys could be useful within modern capitalist societies, providing because of their families and attaining a sense of satisfaction from other place in contemporary society. But society began to change, economically, socially and especially with regards to the position of women. The surge of feminism was changing women's attitudes about how these were (and are) treated. In turn this is starting to affect how men viewed themselves. Carroll (2004) explains how in American population the 'breadwinner ideal' had been eroded with support from professional categories including psychologists and cardiologists - working all the hours and a constant striving for material wealth is probably not good for you. How, asked men, do we determine ourselves now? This article will verify the crisis in masculinity from the idea of view of psychoanalysis through the Oedipal comp'lex and the solid0tl. QD. . . COmp, lex - and then move onto facts from interpersonal and cultural theories.

To verify how masculinity might be in crisis, it is first essential to study how psychoanalytical ideas posit that boys gain their masculine personality - or in other words that they become men. Modern psychoanalytical theory, as did Freud himself, places a great focus on the early romantic relationships of the young youngster along with his parents or caregivers. It's the vicissitudes of the connections that will have important effects for development. In Freudian conditions, this early romantic relationship is overshadowed by the Oedipal turmoil. The mother shows a great interest in the child and the youngster realises that his dad symbolizes his main competitor to this romantic relationship. The boy needs the mother, however the father stands in the manner. Attempting to maintain these conflicting affects at some type of equilibrium is the central episode of development from a psychoanalytical


What, then, are the most crucial processes that happen in early on life that effect the building (or otherwise) of the guy identity from the Oedipal turmoil? Greenson (1968) clarifies that psychoanalytic theory concentrates on the idea of disidentification, this is divided into two techniques: firstly a son must sever the psychological ties he has with the principal caregiver - usually the mother - and second of all he must identify with a men role-model - usually the daddy. The id with the father should allow the boy to have a way of conversing with the outside world, to tempt the guy away from internal closeness with the mother and offer the support needed to avoid the males go back to a symbiotic romance with his mom.

The marriage with the mom, then, sometimes appears by Klein (1975) as a sensitive balancing act. It offers a prototype for later connections with women and so needs to be warm and caring, but it is problematic for a man to obtain connections with women if he is too near his mom. Horrocks (1994) argues that, in simple fact, the male child is ornamented by femininity throughout his early childhood, which is very important to him to break away and find out a world of men for here lay the root base of the male identity. The central paradox, though, is the fact the man would like to flee this cocoon of womanhood but addititionally there is the desire to be close to a woman. One hazard in this powerful is that the early impact of the mom is too great rather than sufficiently counter-acted by the father - this leads to an inability to split up himself from the mother (Horrocks, 1994).

The role of the father in the masculine identification is seen as vital by psychoanalysts. Horrocks

(1994) views the role of fathering as an launch to manhood, the intro to a role that has previously been shrouded in unknown. While there are some initiation rights and ceremonies in a few ethnicities, overall, and especially in european societies, it isn't particularly strong. There's actually been a disconnect between your boy and his father, now the daddy mind out to work every day and no much longer has a chance to bond along with his son. Horrocks (1994) views one of the main functions of the father concerning show the young guy that it is possible to live on with the mom, to have turmoil, dread and guilt, but nonetheless to live mutually. It is through the father-son relationship that the guy can learn that it is possible to live a civilised presence without continual recourse to violence and satiation of primitive longings. The damaged modern men, the man in crisis, is seen by Horrocks (1994) as 'unfathered'. Women are viewed as dangerous - to have a relationship is to have a battle and the man must attract himself from women every once in awhile to maintain his safety. By never really making a strong connection, the present day man in problems feels damaged and abused and uses the methods of abuse and damage to relate to others because he is aware no other way.

This analysis of the Oedipal complex and its effects, as well as the probability of transcendence, actually describes a fairly prototypical interaction between the young son and his caregiver. Blazina (2004) explains how some criticisms and refinements of the model have been created by succeeding theorists. Bergman (1995), for example, has argued that it is not necessarily with the mother the guy should be disidentifying. There are plenty of situations where in fact the father is in fact the provider of the most emotional nurturance. In this case it is best to see the individuation as occurring with the principal caregiver as opposed to the mother. Blazina (2004) also keeps that there shouldn't be such emphasis on the cutting off of the other identity. Where the other identification is womanly, there is now better acceptability of feminine qualities in men so these can be built-into male individuality without diminishing maleness.

For the crisis in masculinity, Freud's conception of the castration complex is of great interest.

Freud (1925) theorised that the castration complex had the follOWing stages. Firstly a boy guesses from the data of his own anatomy that everyone has a male organ. Secondly he finds out that women don't have penises and assumes they have been mutilated in some way. Thirdly when he begins to masturbate, he is told that he will be castrated. Fourthly, finding that the breast was already removed, summarises that the manhood will be next. Finally, the Oedipus complex is demolished by this threat of castration.

According to Horrocks (1994), Freud found this series of events as concrete, whereas many psychoanalysts now see this in more allegorical conditions, as mediated by culture and contemporary society. Through gender, both men as well as women are denied a complete world to be, the world of the other gender. Following the process of partitioning men and women both feel a sense of damage at the things

that they'll not be able to experience. In men this castration complex expresses itself in a number of various ways. Men have a desire for love, a fear of their own sexuality, and, specifically, a concern with their own anger. Horrocks (1994) explains how, as a psychotherapist, many men discuss their fear that their anger will be exposed to the world. To stop this, they need to bottle it up and repress the feeling. Because of this, in heterosexual men, this is recognized by the ladies with whom they may have relationships and they are rendered impotent and asexual. A man who acts in this way behaves passive aggressively he's motivated to control those around him by his anger. This

prohibits a primary connection with other folks because his human relationships derive from manipulation. The result of this is the fact that feelings are retained inside and denied.

A similar problem sometimes appears, in Horrocks' experience, in macho men. The castration of the macho man leaves him profoundly scared of expressing his own emotions. This denies him the likelihood of acting emotionally in virtually any situation as this will simply show you his weakness - as he considers it. It is the emotional parts of himself that this man hates and needs to cover up away - the feminine parts of him are an shame. By being cut-off from his own thoughts, the psychologically castrated man experience an emptiness within himself that he endeavors to complete with methods that won't work. The emptiness inside is often experienced as a lifeless feeling, almost of death itself. It really is specifically this 'almost fatality' from which, Horrocks argues, many men in the problems of masculinity are troubled. Without the bond along with his own feelings, or those of other people, he is merely half a man, not able to experience himself or others properly, securely cocooned in a clear world.

Within Freud's writings, female were theorised to suffer from envy of the male penis, but Freud did not acknowledge the likelihood of men being envious of the female breasts. The male-centred proven fact that manhood envy is important to psychoanalysis is attacked by the intro of the idea of breasts envy. Klein (1975), for example, has pointed out that both male and female children have very strong feelings to the breasts - both are drawn to it and both want to eliminate it. Instead of defining both sexes in conditions of the penis - one having and the other jealous - a reciprocal envy provides balance that acknowledges the lacuna in men's lives as well. The breast does, after all provide, not only nourishment, but also love to the child, therefore a woman's breast is a symbol of these features. Horrocks (1994) argues that men have a strong desire to return to the breasts, to return to the originator of life and at exactly the same time men strike the breasts and want to kill it.

Melanie Klein posited that the thought of womb envy was also an important component in the male psyche. Minsky (1995) details the way the Kleinian viewpoint considers the development of male power to be rooted in worries of the womb. Like the young boys envy of his mother's breasts, he also becomes envious of her womb and the power it must create new lease of life. To make up for this envy, men are obligated to concentrate their efforts on social and creative work and to suppress women's forays into the same field. Minsky (1995) clarifies that it is the phallus that then saves men and a distraction from the envy of the womb.

Lacan has another undertake the Oedipus complex. He sees the daddy not as a genuine daddy but as a representation or a metaphor for culture (Lacan, 2004). It is through the young boy's connection with ethnical factors such as vocabulary that he is pulled away from the mother. The mother presents desire for Lacan and so culture, through the representation of the father, pulls the youngster from what he wishes. This reducing off is similar to a castration and the child then attempts to replace this with a seek out fact (Minsky, 1995).

Many of these psychoanalytical ideas about the roots of an emergency in masculinity are analysed in public theories in terms of a conflict in gender tasks. O'Neil, Helms, Gable, David, & Wrightsman (1986) have described gender role turmoil as where socialised gender roles have a detrimental psychological effect which in turn causes a restrictive effect on the do it yourself through barriers created around personal creativities and liberty. O'Neil et al. (1986) identify four different kinds of role conflict. There is

a restriction in the range of interior emotionality; similarly, there's a limitation in the types of mental behaviour that are possible towards other men this results within an inability to converse feelings. Personal achievements and constant evaluation to what others have creates a frequent sense of dread and worry. There's a conflict between your requirements of work and those of the family which results in stress and health problems, and a straightforward lack of a chance to relax.

Evidence to support these ideas of role issues has come, for example, from Sharpe & Heppner (1991) who found a link between role issue and issues with intimate relationships. Watts & Borders (2005) point out, though, that lots of of the studies have not been carried out in young, adolescent young boys. In rectifying this opening in the study, Watts & Borders (2005) looked into role turmoil in adolescent kids. Their studies were based on the theories put forward by O'Neil et at. (1986). The kids in their analysis said they found there was a societal pressure to restrict their emotionality, both internally and between themselves and other children. Further they theorised that many of the kids had only been exposed to an extremely limited selection of emotions from male role models indeed many denied experiencing any feelings other than anger.

Cultural ideas, which intersect with Lacan's ideas, are also important in the way the crisis in masculinity has been analyzed. Whitehead (2002) considers quarrels which may have been played out out in the general public domain. Firstly he considers the publication of Stiffed: The Betrayal of Modern Man (Faludi, 2000). The thesis of this book is that it's now the guy who detects himself objectified and the subject of much sexist consumer culture. Furthermore the man's secure parts and romantic relationships with the world of work are no more as strong and exclusive as they once were. Men seem to be also, in Faludi's view, to be failing to fight back from the new culture, failing to take on this creeping emasculation. Now that feminism has attacked the patriarchal systems of electricity and control, masculinity has been left undermined and uncertain. The go up of feminism has surely prompted many men to question how they view women and then obviously left them lost. Faludi (2000) places the blame because of this problems in masculinity at the door of 'culture' and motivates them to work together to battle it. As the argument has some elements of fact, quite how men and women are likely to step outside of culture is not clear. Without women and men, there is no culture - people are intimately destined up with it and part of it.

The second set of quarrels centre around research carried out by Teacher Richard Scase within the Western european Commission's Futures Program (Scase, 1999). This research discovered that many women are choosing to live by themselves as their opportunities in the workplace increase and especially as the tasks they can choose widen. It is hypothesised that is having a knock-on effect on men who find it hard to deal with this new situation. Information because of this is in the increasing rates of suicide between 1991 and 1997 they have got increased by 60%. Community research locates that men are choosing to stay living at home somewhat than re-locate on their own (Office of National Statistics, 2000). Whitehead (2002) views this as facts that men are failing woefully to manage the new issues they are really facing.

Further ethnic and social information that men are in problems is supplied by Beynon (2001). Relying intensely on role theory, Beynon (2001) details to the changes in work habits - particularly the fact that less than half the men over 55 are in work. There is also a sense in which these men are trapped between attempting to keep up with the old-style macho posturing and the new-man type behaviour requiring a man to be in touch along with his feelings. Beynon (2001) promises that generally men

are less likely to a malfunction, Be of divorces. S'. a

~_ C 0 ogical or physical disease which faces them. In marital

- a::> es, the man is normally most dependable, with women starting 75% of ten men move out of the marital home following the break down of a e er, is most likely more of an artefact of the legal system and simple ietment on men. Aside from other things, men generally die younger and e 'e y to have problems with cardiovascular disease.

e g facts and results continue through both offense and education and other major areas of

;e. _. en offences are mostly devoted by men, indeed it is men who are generally the subjects of

e crime, and so it is violence that sometimes appears as an important element of masculinity.

itehead (2002) recognizes this assault discourse as having a robust effect on people's attitudes to men. Men have emerged as being unable to handle the requirements of modern life, especially those men on the communal and monetary fringes, so the resort to assault is only natural. Within education, in the classes, male performance is significantly lower then female.

Despite much theoretical attentior as well as some data from research on role theories and the areas, there has been a fa'r amount of criticism of the idea of an emergency in masculinity. Authors have asked if the problems of gender is anything new. Mangan (1997) (as cited in Whitehead, 2002) argues that masculinity, li e femininity is constantly in turmoil, constantly changing and adapting to new circumstances. Indeed, a few of the fundamental ideas from psychoanalysis support the idea that masculinity is often a matter of crisis - men will will have to cope with breast envy, womb en and a castration organic. This question aside though, some commentators have asked if t ere is absolutely anything to explain whatsoever - with the go up of feminism, men have endured a loss of power in accordance with women and want to manage that damage, some less

successf J t an others. Whitehead (200l) suggests that the turmoil in masculinity is, in reality, an iHus'on co 'ned to academics journals and does not have any meaning for individuals in real life. Heartfield (2002), in arguing against an emergency of masculinity, discussions of the fetishising of intimate difference, an exaggera ion of the distinctions between women and men. Heartfield (2002) shows that it is instead the working classes that are in problems, not men generally. These ideas are far removed from those that result from psychoanalysis where many of the roots of future struggle are born for the reason that difference.

In summary, psychoanalytical ideas about the problems in masculinity are grounded in the biological differences between the sexes and exactly how these are dealt with psychologically. Other psychoanalysts and Lacanian ideas have taken these literal conflicts and, to some extent, moved them from a focus on natural difference and introduced more cultural and interpersonal ideas. Friendly and cultural ideas provide a wide selection of, and some known reasons for, a possible problems in masculinity. In particular, the use of role theory has provided an important analysis. Despite using the terminology of role discord, the male preoccupations and problems defined by role theory have a lot of things in keeping with those arrived at by psychoanalytical means. Nevertheless, many writers have questioned whether this crisis in masculinity really prevails and whether it's anything new

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