UBC Theses and Dissertations
Rural Legends : white hetero-settler masculinity, neoliberal ideology, and hegemony in The Heartland Gahman, Levi Joseph
This dissertation applies an interlocking spatial framework and critical discourse analysis to hegemonic masculinity, neoliberal ideology, and conceptions of the rural in Southeast Kansas. Drawing from decolonial, feminist, poststructural, and anarchist perspectives, it examines the different ways in which masculinities are discursively and materially embodied in rural spaces. The analysis utilizes empirical evidence, qualitative research methods, and fieldwork conducted in rural Kansas to highlight how mutually constitutive social axes of identification are intimately tied to place, as well as how socio-spatial relationships and neo(liberal) configurations of practice position differing entities as subjects. The research project also sheds light on taken-for-granted notions of masculinity and how hegemonic formations of race, class, gender, sexuality, ability, ethnicity, citizenship, religion, and nationality produce dynamic, spatialized oppressions and privileges. In addition, it seeks to elicit understandings of what is produced by (neo)liberal ideologies and masculinist subjectivities that rely upon the rhetoric of competition, self-reliance, and rugged individualism. Lastly, it illustrates the exclusionary, marginalizing, enabling, and normalizing tendencies that have developed in Southeast Kansas as a result of settler colonialism, conservative Christianity, the ideals of capitalism, gendered hierarchies, white supremacist processes of racialization, ableist social relations, heteronormativity, American nationalism, and liberal conceptions of the self.
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