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

Volume 30, Issue 1
  • 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 research ideological inscriptions and the literary result of the gender system. Hegemonic masculinity is a culturally 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, 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 where people interact in their daily life. Masculinities are not ficed but inectricably linked to social context (2009:329).With this study discourse analysis was used to invest the ways in which text and image portray masculinity in three Afrikaans picture books for young children. These bookswere respectively published in 1982, 1996 and 2009. Picture books can be seen as reflecting current social values and behavior, constructing identities which are offered to children for them to aspire to (Wharton 2005:238). It was found that these three books show sensitivity towards the changing discourse on masculinity and that a new form of masculinity is offered as alternative to young readers. This alternative consists of a more complex portrayal of masculinity.

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