n Mousaion - Die voorstelling van manlikheid in drie Afrikaanse prenteboeke vir kinders

Volume 29, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0027-2639



"Masculinity studies" is an intellectual field both in dialogue with and in alliance with feminist theory (Gardiner 2002:ix). Male theory can be used to research ideological inscriptions and the literary results produced by the gender system. Hegemonic masculinity is a cultural construction of masculinity which implies authority, toughness, heterosexuality, braveness, being adventurous, assertive, strong and competitive and in possession of public knowledge. According to Deevia Bhana (2009), hegemonic masculinity allows for the explanation of the unbalanced nature of gender power relations where men and boys remain ascendant. But, she argues further, not all boys are the same. Hegemonic masculinity is socially constructed and influenced by different social processes whereby people interact in their daily life. Masculinities are not fixed but are inextricably linked to social context (Bhana 2009:329). This study used discourse analysis to investigate the ways in which text and image portray masculinity in three Afrikaans picture books for young children published in 1982, 1996 and 2009, respectively. Picture books can be seen as reflecting current social values and behaviour, constructing identities and offering them to children for them to aspire to (Wharton 2005:238). It was found that these three books show a sensitivity towards the changing discourse on masculinity and this more complex portrayal of masculinity is offered as an alternative to young readers.

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