Att konstruera en frack : En kvalitativ studie om studentfrackens upplevda gränser
This explorative study focuses on young, university attending males (22-27 years) and their understanding and pratice of the classic tail coat. It is based on five qvalitatively interpreted interwievs with a total of six participants, and through open questions regarding individuality and identicalness, limits and possibilities and inclusion and exclusion, a masculininty of a less contemporary hue takes shape. These conversations have revealed the tail coats potential of respresenting a male stereotype that can set a foundational and minimal standard for inclusion. Above this layer these males can then manifest and negotiate their masculine position in a homosocial hierarchy which decides the amount of passage, privilieges and confirmation of self- worth received for the wearer. These negotiation is performed by value bearing symbols (such as medallions, cordons and the like) allowed by the wearer and by the actions that systematically ensure that the lines of the tail coat are watched and unbroken. This is to preserve the priviliege of being allowed to deconstruct the unit of the tail coat, as this would be an absolute indication of achievement of the correct masculinity and the surrounding of the right spectators. The guarding of the tail coats limits lies within the tendencies of wanting to correct each other with feelings of either irritation or sympathy, a practice that seem rather unreflected by these men themselves. This pratice could be interpreted as a form of ”subjectfying” performed between these men, collectively and systematically (as well as unreflected) ensuring the image of masculinity remains unflawed. The tail coat allows the somewhat questioned homosociality to stay vital by forming a third gender sphere which is separated from the rules of the public (male) sphere and the private (female), but can still transcend and interact with these. In a society that porgressively have condemned the homosocial practice of men choosing and protecting other men in aspects regarding both work and domesticity, the third gender sphere becomes a sanctuary which can allow this structure to continue. However, these young men also experiences a duality, an awareness of the problems involved with gender exclusive contexts which could be a symptom of this homosocial sphere cracking in its surface. However, the overall experience of the tail coat and its connected contexts seems to be understood as fun and easy, neutral and uncomplicated, and the tail coat itself as an form of ”pavlovian conditioning” on the pleasantries connected to it.
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