The aims of this microhistory are to provide a narrative concerning the possession of Southern masculinities and to untangle the hegemonic, convergent, and divergent forms of these identities that played out on the plantation stages. As this essay will show, the plantation stages were the sites where Southern men engaged in their most heated and personal conflicts over what was theirs and why. This thesis brings gendered selves to the forefront of conflict: the Southern men at the top of the plantation system fought to maintain their power through continuous assertions and redefinitions of their hegemonic masculinities. Thus, any man, regardless of his class or his race, could rise to the top of this symbolic status quo—for even just an instant. What ensued was an increasingly unstable hierarchy imposed by the planter standing on top, the black slave chained to the bottom, and other white men fighting or subtly negotiating their way up. Though challenged daily by enslaved black men and women, as well as the white men in their employ, the success of planters' masculinities in possessing what opposed them kept their ideal alive.
|Commitee:||Akin, Yigit, Gilpin, R. B.|
|School Location:||United States -- Louisiana|
|Source:||MAI 54/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||African American Studies, American history, Regional Studies, Gender studies|
|Keywords:||Gender, Manhood, Masculinities, Masculinity, Plantation, Slavery|
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