Sovereign Masculinity

Sovereign Masculinity : Gender Lessons from the War on Terror

4.12 (16 ratings by Goodreads)
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4.12 (16 ratings by Goodreads)

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After 9/11/2001, gendered narratives of humiliation and revenge proliferated in the U.S. national imaginary. How is it that gender, which we commonly take to be a structure at the heart of individual identity, is also at stake in the life of the nation? What do we learn about gender when we pay attention to how it moves and circulates between the lived experience of the subject and the aspirations of the nation in war? What is the relation between national
sovereignty and sovereign masculinity?

Through examining practices of torture, extra-judicial assassination, and first person accounts of soldiers on the ground, Bonnie Mann develops a new theory of gender. It is neither a natural essence nor merely a social construct. Gender is first and foremost an operation of justification which binds the lived existence of the individual subject to the aspirations of the regime.

Inspired by a reexamination of the work of Simone de Beauvoir, the author exposes how sovereign masculinity hinges on the nation's ability to tap into and mobilize the structure of self-justification at the heart of masculine identity.

At the national level, shame is repeatedly converted to power in the War on Terror through hyperbolic displays of agency including massive aerial bombardment and practices of torture. This is why, as Mann demonstrates, the phenomenon of gender itself demands a four-dimensional analysis that moves from the phenomenological level of lived experience, through the collective life of a people expressed in the social imaginary and the operations of language, to the material relations that prevail in
our times.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 18mm | 342g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0199981655
  • 9780199981656
  • 1,406,945

Table of contents

Preface ; Chapter 1 Introduction: Strange Cousins ; Prologue: Justifications ; Chapter 2 Invitation ; Chapter 3 Beauvoir ; Chapter 4 History ; I: Style ; Chapter 5 Aesthetic ; Chapter 6 Recognition ; Chapter 7 Woman ; II: Imaginary ; Chapter 8 Imaginary ; Chapter 9 Shame ; Chapter 10 Redemption ; III: Frame ; Chapter 11 Existence ; Chapter 12 Home ; Chapter 13 Father ; IV: Apparatus ; Chapter 14 Shock and Awe ; Chapter 15 Institution ; Chapter 16 Torture ; Conclusion ; Chapter 17 Conclusion: Permanent State of Exception
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Review quote

richly textured philosophical study * Susan James, Times Higher Education * What does gender do in the life of a nation? In this splendidly written and passionately engaged book, Mann traces out how sovereign masculinity, committed to a vision of itself as invulnerable and self justifying, has created a framework to conduct a war that on moral and rational grounds is against the best interests of the soldiers who fight the war, the citizens who support the war, and to democratic institutions and practices themselves. Ranging over discussions
from Simone de Beauvoir and phenomenology to the political and cultural representations of war and torture, Mann probes how gender operates both in the innermost space of its citizens and in the aspirations of national manhood. A fresh and critical feminist engagement with the gendered lessons of
the war on terror, Sovereign Masculinity deserves a wide readership. * Robin May Schott, Senior Researcher, Danish Institute for International Studies * This book is a must read for those who want to understand the complexity and nuance of sovereign masculinityThere is a lot of heart in this book, and I am a little envious of the way in which Mann mixes the scholarly with her passionate activism. It is just the kind of book that is sorely needed in a badly broken world. Mann has left me with a whole host of questions, as well as provided me with invaluable points of critical clarification, inspiration, and,
definitely, a gender lesson. * Amanullah De Sondy, Journal of the Society for Contemporary Thought and the Islamicate World * Mann's insightful contributions welcome updating of the analyses of gender and gendering processes, gendered politics, and gendered violence. * Bat-Ami Bar On, Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy *
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About Bonnie Mann

Bonnie Mann is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Oregon in Eugene, Oregon. A longtime feminist and social justice activist, she is the author of Women's Liberation and the Sublime: Feminism, Postmodernism, Environment (Oxford University Press, 2006), and many articles.
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Rating details

4.12 out of 5 stars
- 16 ratings
5 38% (6)
4 44% (7)
3 12% (2)
2 6% (1)
1 0% (0)
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