Gender, Neoliberalism, and Embodiment: A Social Geography of Rural, Working-Class Masculinity in Southeast Kansas

  • Levi Gahman
Part of the Global Masculinities book series (GLMAS)


In this chapter I apply critical discourse analysis to the broad topics of gender, geography, and neoliberalism. I do so by drawing on empirical data gathered in Southeast Kansas to examine the ways in which rural, working-class notions of manhood are discursively and materially practiced and reproduced. I begin with an overview of the literature pertaining to masculinity, place, and embodiment, and then move into a discussion of how neoliberalism is being theorized not only as a set of economic policies driving global capitalism but also as a logic and discourse. I proceed by highlighting how hegemonic notions of masculinity in rural Southeast Kansas are being mediated by increasingly market-oriented definitions of competition and success. I illustrate these dynamics by underscoring how the neoliberal self-making practices of responsibilization, entrepreneurialism, self-commodification, and fragmentation are subtly reshaping long-established, culturally produced perceptions of ‘manhood’ for working-class men in rural Kansas.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Levi Gahman
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of the West IndiesSt. AugustineTrinidad and Tobago

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