Hunt, Karen
August 2004
Labour History Review (Maney Publishing);Aug2004, Vol. 69 Issue 2, p201
Academic Journal
This article explores whether British socialist politics before the First World War provided a space for a counter-hegemonic masculinity or masculinities. In order to reveal underlying assumptions about masculinity, a number of aspects of socialist practice are considered such as socialist iconography and the language employed within the movement. Opportunities to trace 'subordinate' masculinities (Tosh) are also provided by moments when the apparently monolithic edifice of masculinity are fractured, exposing sub-strata for scrutiny. The Oscar Wilde court cases of 1895 provided such a moment and the article explores socialist responses to it and what they reveal about socialist masculinities. But this article is not just concerned with perceptions of masculinity, it is also about everyday practices. Thus two important aspects of masculinity are examined in order lo establish whether they took a specific socialist form: homosociability, specifically comradeship; and fatherhood. The article concludes by considering; whether socialist pre-figurative practice in relation to masculinity was any more likely than in any other aspects of gender relations.


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