Exploring the Intersections of Masculinities and the Emergence of the Precariat


Hatched by Thati

Feb 19, 2024

4 min read


Exploring the Intersections of Masculinities and the Emergence of the Precariat


In recent years, there has been an increasing focus on the study of masculinities and the emergence of a new social class known as the precariat. This article aims to explore the common points between these two areas of study and shed light on the connections between them. By examining various academic articles and research papers, we will delve into the complexities of gender, intersectionality, and the challenges faced by the precariat. Additionally, we will discuss actionable advice for individuals and policymakers to address these issues effectively.

Gender and Intersectionality:

The first set of readings introduces us to the concepts of gender and intersectionality. The works of Carol E. Henning and Joan W. Scott delve into the historical contributions and contemporary debates surrounding the intertwining of social markers of difference. These readings highlight the need to understand gender as a useful category of historical analysis. It is through this lens that we can begin to explore the diverse experiences and challenges faced by different masculinities within the precariat.

Introduction to the Study of Masculinities:

Moving forward, we delve into the study of masculinities, where the works of R.W. Connell and Miriam Pilar Grossi provide valuable insights. Connell's exploration of the politics of masculinity emphasizes the need to critically analyze the power dynamics and social constructions that shape dominant forms of masculinity. Grossi's theoretical review further expands our understanding of masculinities, shedding light on the various dimensions and complexities within this field of study.

Hegemonic and Subaltern Masculinities:

As we progress, we encounter the concepts of hegemonic and subaltern masculinities. Miguel Vale de Almeida's examination of gender, masculinity, and power in Southern Portugal offers a case study that challenges traditional notions of masculinity. Raewyn Connell's work further invites us to rethink the concept of hegemonic masculinity, highlighting the importance of considering multiple masculinities within different social contexts. These readings emphasize the significance of recognizing the diversity and fluidity of masculinities within the precariat.

Masculinities, National Projects, and Racialization:

The next set of readings delves into the intersection of masculinities, national projects, and racialization. Andrew Canessa's study explores the role of beauty pageants in Bolivia's national identity under the presidency of Evo Morales. Osmundo Pinho's work interrogates the masculinity of racial inequality in Brazil. These readings draw attention to the ways in which racial and national dynamics intersect with the experiences and representations of masculinities within the precariat.

Masculinities in Homosexual Communities in São Paulo:

Lastly, we delve into the exploration of masculinities within homosexual communities in São Paulo. The works of Camilo Braz and Júlio Assis Simões shed light on the socio-cultural dynamics and experiences of gay men in urban settings. These readings highlight the need to examine the intersections of sexuality, gender, and social class within the precariat.

The Precariat: An Emerging Social Class:

Building upon the understanding of masculinities, we now shift our focus to the precariat, an emerging social class characterized by insecurity and a lack of labor rights. This class, composed of diverse social and economic groups, faces high job turnover and reduced access to stable employment. The precariat is marked by the acceptance of unstable jobs, lacking occupational identity, and engaging in work that is often not recognized as such.

The Challenges Faced by the Precariat:

The precariat faces a multitude of challenges that threaten their social and economic well-being. These challenges include low and unpredictable wages, debts, and the loss of various rights, including civil, cultural, social, economic, and political rights. The precariat also lacks representation by political parties and leaders who understand and address their specific needs.

The Role of Technological Advancements:

Technological advancements play a significant role in the growth of the precariat. The revolution in technology has facilitated the fragmentation of employment structures, leading to increased job instability and turnover. The demands for flexibility from employers and the state often result in continuous social and economic insecurity for the precariat.

Actionable Advice for Addressing Precarity:

To address the challenges faced by the precariat, it is crucial to consider actionable solutions. Here are three recommendations:

  • 1. Implement Universal Basic Income: Providing a basic income throughout an individual's life can offer them the flexibility to pursue opportunities on their terms or take much-needed breaks. A universal basic income ensures a sense of security and stability for individuals in the precariat.
  • 2. Strengthen Labor Rights: Policymakers should focus on strengthening labor rights and ensuring fair wages, stable employment, and access to social security benefits for the precariat. This includes addressing issues such as unpaid leave, retirement, and protection against sudden income loss.
  • 3. Foster Inclusive Political Representation: It is essential to create a political environment that represents the diverse needs and experiences of the precariat. This involves supporting political leaders who understand and advocate for policies that address the specific challenges faced by this emerging social class.


The exploration of masculinities and the emergence of the precariat provides valuable insights into the complexities of our social and economic systems. By understanding the intersections between these two areas, we can work towards creating a more inclusive and equitable society. Through actionable solutions such as universal basic income, strengthened labor rights, and inclusive political representation, we can begin to address the challenges faced by the precariat and pave the way for a more sustainable and just future.

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