Katarzyna Woynicka and Maria Adamczyk

Masculinity in Crisis,really so?

Cur rently, in Poland, Men Studies do not exist as such. Feminist Studies called Gender Studies are also quite a fresh phenomenon, in Krakow alone they have been founded/started three years ago in our department of sociology. Even though, we have been witnesses to the birth of a heated debate concerning the social construction of femininity, we still know almost nothing about the influence of specific social conditions on masculinity.

In our presentation we will firstly discuss the meaning of the term of masculinity and manhood. Who is a man? Who is not? Is it something you strive for or rather an innate trait like an eye colour (Of course we plan to include Polish background info.). Secondly we would like to focus on two different sides of the same phenomena: machismo and metrosexualism being two important alternatives as a way to construct modern Central European masculinties. We would like to enrich our presentation with some movie fragments and have a discussion about how masculinity is portrayed on the screen: in contrast to something else, or as a separate, sort of autonomous entity. (So far we have chosen movies like: American Psycho, Fight Club, Boys don’t cry , Polish movie called Egoists and much more- what is quite important, both American Psycho and Boys don’t cry have been directed by a female).

At last, we would like to bring up the topic of so-called Masculinity Crisis- is the birth of the discourse a sign of a crisis of the old meaning of the term or rather is it an aim to redefine it. Could something more valuable be born out of this semiotic chaos?