Tuesday, 8 February 2011

masculine identity in America


The above article focuses on the unemployed men in America who are struggling to find a job they would enjoy and are happy with.

“Alan Beggerow has stopped looking for work. Laid off as a steelworker at 48, he taught math for a while at a community college. But when that ended, he could not find a job that, in his view, was neither demeaning nor underpaid.”

This example from the article shows how a man has decided not to look for any more work as a result of not finding a job he thinks meets his needs.Part of the typical masculine identity in America is to have a job and support the family, however some men feel that they would lose aspects of their masculinity if they settled for a low paid job and would rather stay unemployed until a better job became available. This is because they feel a low paid job would be demeaning. This shows a change in the masculine identity in America as fifty/sixty years ago it would be seen as “unmanly” for a man to be unemployed and not be supporting his family, therefore they would take a low paid job as it is still work, as opposed to being unemployed and waiting for a better job.

“Even as more men are dropping out of the work force, more women are entering it. This change has occurred partly because employment has shrunk in industries where men predominated, like manufacturing, while fields where women are far more common, like teaching, health care and retailing, have grown..Women are also making inroads in fields where they were once excluded — as lawyers and doctors, for example, and on Wall Street. Men still make significantly more money than women, but as women become more educated than men, even more men may end up out of the work force.”

This reason for men being out of work and struggling to find suitable jobs can also be linked to issues of masculinity. In present day America, more women focus on their career rather than staying at home and looking after children than those fifty years ago, therefore the man’s typical role of being the only source of income for his family is obsolete. If the trend of women being more educated than men continues, as stated in the article, the role of breadwinner in a family may change and in the future it may be common for the woman to earn most of a family’s income, threatening and changing the identity of men in America.

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