Hegemony and discourse: reconstruing the male sex offender and sexual coercion by men

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Cowburn, M. (2005)

<p>This paper considers issues related to hegemony and discourse and how dominant constructions of the male sex offender conceal wider issues pertaining to the hegemony of men. Initially outlining competing approaches to understanding power, the paper then seeks to link the Gramscian concept of hegemony to Foucaldian perspectives on power and language and justify the use of the term ‘‘hegemonic discourse’’. It suggests that hegemonic discourse concerning male sexual coercion is embodied in sex offender recidivism data, and classification systems concentrate attention on a small population of men who are then deemed to be deviant. A closer examination of the recidivism data studies of unconvicted men in relation to acknowledged desire to rape and sociological literature in relation to the social construction of masculinities raises questions about the effect of the hegemonic discourse in relation to understanding and responding to male acts of sexual coercion.</p>
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