Unveiling the male corset: Goth masculine gender performance in rural Australia

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Abstract

Contemporary sociological research indicates rural men face increasing pressure to comply with hegemonic masculine gender norms. Adopting Butler's poststructural theory of gender performativity, this study presents findings from qualitative interviews with twenty-five self-identified male Goths living in rural Australia, revealing how participants enacted masculinity and how rurality shaped gender performance. Despite participants' believing their Goth identity transcended geographic location, Goth self expression of counter normative masculinity was met with societal pressure. Rural Australian communities were presented as strongly upholding normative, traditional gender expectations as most participants experienced adverse responses, namely,homophobic hostility, employment discrimination, bullying, and/or physical assault,which necessitated modification of gender performance for individual safety and well being. Participants largely attributed negative reactions to rural communities' ''closed mindedness'' in contrast with the ''open-mindedness'' they experienced in urban communities. Overall, participants believed urban communities in Australia and beyond displayed greater acceptance of diverse gender performances than rural Australia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)71-97
Number of pages27
JournalMen and Masculinities
Volume20
Issue number1
Early online dateNov 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017

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