Men's Masculinity Put to Test in the Struggle for Power

Yavuz S.

MILLI FOLKLOR, no.104, pp.110-127, 2014 (AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: Issue: 104
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Journal Name: MILLI FOLKLOR
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.110-127
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: No


A large number of works in the field of gender studies are about women. Yet, it is equally essential to know about men and masculinity for a wider comprehension of the field. Masculinity acquires different meanings according to the time, the culture and the society in which we live in. In this study, masculinity is essentially regarded as an identity acquired in a social process and not as an inborn property. The socializing individuals become "men" and "women" by responding to the expectations of the society. In the public space, men always have to prove their "masculinity". Circumcision, the military service, job seeking and marriage are important stages in one's adventure of "becoming a man". While circumcision is a religious requirement, it is nevertheless connected with masculinity. Similary, the military service goes beyond being a duty to be fulfilled by the men in a certain period; it is regarded as a debt to the country, as part of a man's honour. So the men who have not served in the military are considered as imperfect with regard to their "masculinity". For those who passed through circumsition and the military, the next "tests" to be passed are job seeking and marriage. Throughout their life, men are tested through and expected to complete these four processes in the cultural environment: In this study, through interviews with 27 persons, we investigated how and in what feelings these persons experienced the above "tests".