En manlig övertygelse? : En retorisk undersökning av tankeriktningar, ideal och maskuliniteter i den svenska mansgruppen The Raw Man
Sammanfattning: This master thesis explores ideas, values, virtues, and masculinities within The Raw Man, a Swedish men’s group active since 2012, in the context of Swedish gender equality politics. The material used for this study is the The Raw Man’s website (with an array of persuasive texts and pictures), YouTube-videos, a podcast, and the group’s participation in a Swedish television program. The theoretical framework draws from tools and theories from the fields of rhetoric, philosophy and gender studies. First, I analyse the movement’s argumentation and sort their arguments within different rhetorical topoi. Then, with a similar method, I explore which virtues constitute an ideal man within the movement’s discourse. This analysis builds on Aristotle’s understanding of topoi and virtues and takes further help through texts of the modern rhetorical scholar Janne Lindqvist. To further investigate the movement and what kind of masculinities it reproduces, I take inspiration from Edwin Black’s theory of The Second Persona. The most commonly used topoi and virtues are used to form a second persona, the implicit reader of The Raw Man’s arguments and therefore, the embodiment of the movement’s ideas, values, and ideals. This second persona is then gazed through perspectives from men’s studies. The results show that The Raw Man is greatly inspired by the so called Mythopoetic Men’s Movement, and employs ideas from Robert Bly, Carl G. Jung, and adheres to traditional notions including essentialism, polarity between the sexes, men’s destiny as leaders and women’s as nurturers. It also shows that The Raw Man in fact considers Swedish gender equality politics as somewhat of a threat, and feminists as enemies. The type of masculinity that is being reproduced within the movement can best be described as sticky, a term used in men’s studies for describing conservative and misogynistic values that stick to men’s bodies and are difficult to shake off. The results also indicate that the movement’s discourse is rather contradictory, for example it shows ideals of being vulnerable and grounded while at the same time being a strong leader with traditional manly qualities. This implies some difficulties in fully defining their ideology and ideals, hence the second persona lacks some ideological consistency. Finally, the study shows that the use of rhetorical theories and perspectives can be useful tools when exploring men’s groups, and social movements as a whole.
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