Masculinity as an analytical concept has received limited attention in historical and cultural studies of Asia, and particularly of South and Southeast Asia. Only a small number of works produced in South and Southeast Asian studies address the historical construction and evolution of masculinities in the regions and even fewer offer in-depth inquiries into the extent to which historical forms of masculinity governed social relations. The specific dynamics of the relationship between ideologies and the ways that manhood is interpreted, experienced and performed in daily life in the past and in present times remain underexplored. This essay reviews three recent publications that demonstrate that masculinity has been crucial to ideologies and techniques of rule in colonial, national and globalised contexts and, as such, needs to be placed at the centre of analyses of empire, nation and globalisation. It directs attention to promising areas for future comparative research on masculinities in Asia.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cultural Studies
- Sociology and Political Science