Mi / 10:00 – 11:30

Flexible Masculinities

Negotiating Gender, Sexuality, and Ethnicity in Embodied Ethnography

Minwoo Jung, KWI International Fellow

Online (Zoom) & Kulturwissenschaftliches Institut Essen (KWI), Raum 106, Goethestr. 31, 45128 Essen

How do individuals navigate various forms of hegemonic masculinity as they traverse different geographic and cultural boundaries? This talk introduces the concept of flexible masculinities to examine the increasing cultural demand and individual practice of flexibility in gendered interactions in a globalized world. Taking a transnational approach, this talk contextualizes flexible masculinities under the advanced regime of flexible accumulation, where ordinary individuals must navigate varied culturally-specific gender and sexuality regimes due to changing conditions of transnational mobility, communication, and interactions. Drawing on multi-sited and embodied ethnography from global queer Asia, this talk explores the flexible negotiation of masculinities in multiple geographic and cultural contexts amid global and regional social changes. The concept of flexible masculinities highlights how distinct configurations of masculinity arise in different geographies, prompted by shifts in global capitalism, social movements, and cultural flows, and how transnational subjects mobilize flexible embodiments of their gender, sexuality, and ethnicity to achieve a sense of respectability, belonging, and desirability. By doing so, this talk advances a transnational, intersectional, and queer intervention to our understandings of masculinities.