Trevor McArthur

I graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work, majoring in Industrial Sociology at the University of Cape Town in 2010. I Then went on to study towards a Master of Philosophy – specializing in Criminal Justice at the Centre for Criminology, housed in the Law Faculty– with a thesis titled: “Exploring the victimization of Homeless Street Youth: A Muizenberg case study”, graduating in June 2012. I am currently pursuing a PhD in Sociology from Stellenbosch University, exploring intersections between Race, Gender and Education. I am particularly passionate about exploring constructions of “Blackness and Colouredness” in South Africa. My PhD topic is titled “Working Class Coloured Masculinities and Schooling: an Ethnographic study on how Coloured boys construct their identities and negotiate relationships in a working class public school in Cape Town”. My research interests includes: The Sociology Youth and Education, Social and Community development, Causes of Crime and Deviance, Gender Based Violence, The Socio-Political Economy of Southern Africa, HIV/AIDS Education, Applied Leadership theories, and lastly, exploring the construction(s) Gender with particular reference to Masculinities and Femininities.

Posts Written by Trevor

Gender and Violence through a Hegemonic Masculinity Lens: A Reflection from South Africa

I have often asked myself: “Why do boys/men fight and why are they so violent -when compared to women?” , “Why do boys/men have to rape women?” and “How does society reinforce and maintain notions of boy/manhood”.

Critical Men’s Studies fundamentally argues that there is no essence of masculinity and femininity which makes men and women behave in very different ways, rather it assumes that masculinities and femininities are constructed in relation to each other, even when there are no gendered ‘Others’ around. This position further challenges the tendency in patriarchal cultures that take males for granted as universal subjects and construct woman as the gendered others. Instead it focus on men as gendered beings and explore gendered power dynamics, addressing masculinities and femininities as relational opposites, enacted and performed through every forms of interaction imbued with power. Masculinities are complex and multifaceted.  In attempting to understand Gender – and in particular, masculinities – and how it relates to Violence and Crime, I have come across a variety of theories, and found Raewyn Connell’s notion of various forms of masculinities – particularly ‘Hegemonic Masculiniies’ most useful for this purpose.

Raewyn Connell work on Hegemonic Masculinities and how it plays out in society, albeit western centric, argues that masculinities are socialised, dynamic (ie: it changes over time) and influenced by social groups and friendship circles . Masculinity (and masculinities) are shaped by various social institutions such as: the Family; Religion, Communities; Education institutions (ie: Schools and Universities); The Work ...