Bodies and Identity: reading masculinity on the body

What is identity?

  • Considering the relationship between the body and identity


  • Exclusive and fixed

Barack Obama – mixed race, American male
David Cameron – white British male

Identity – shared with others, relying on sameness

for example, celebrities. Teens and adults, idolise them and slowly begin to copy their way of living, and the way they look

Sex and Gender

Babies – it is impossible to tell the sex of new babies from a distance

  • dressing in specific colours (that are gendered)
    colours relates to gender are cultural construct.
    Society is organised around identity difference, this is embodied. i.e, public toilets

Heteronormativity (warner, 1991)
Believe that society is built upon strict norms of different genders, (male and female) and that hetrosexuality is the ‘norm’
When something is defined as a ‘norm’, anything outside that definition transgress’ the ‘norm’ i.e. homosexual, transexual

Masculinities – (Connell, 2005)
“Identity is not fixed, so how is it possible to talk about masculine and feminine identities?”

Summary of this lecture:

  • Identity – not fixed
  • Identity – is embodied
  • Identity is: a way in which we ‘read’, ‘judge’ and know people
  • Sexuality is mostly fixed
  • Gender is not fixed and is a cultural construct



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Year 1 Level 4 student at Cardiff Metropolitan University, studying BA (hons) Illustration A blog to reflect on my progress

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