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“Suck It up, Buttercup”: Status Silencing and the Maintenance of Toxic Masculinity in Academia

Radical Interactionism and Critiques of Contemporary Culture

ISBN: 978-1-83982-029-8, eISBN: 978-1-83982-028-1

ISSN: 0163-2396

Publication date: 30 April 2021

Abstract

This autoethnography takes up the matter of toxic masculinity in university settings. We introduce the term “status silencing” as a way to make visible the normalization of toxic masculinity in everyday talk and interaction in university settings among and around colleagues. Status silencing is the process in which the status of a dominant individual becomes a context which renders the story of an individual with a subordinated status untellable or untold. Using strange accounting, we explore active and passive types of status silencing to show how talk and interactions involving toxic masculinity are both internalized and externalized expressions of power and dominance. We argue that while most scholars view toxic masculinity as blatant acts of violence (mass shootings, rape and sexual assault, etc.), it is also a normalized occurrence for feminized others and that toxic masculinity in academic settings is part of an ongoing institutional norm of silence.

Keywords

Citation

Pruit, J.C., Pruit, A.G. and Rambo, C. (2021), "“Suck It up, Buttercup”: Status Silencing and the Maintenance of Toxic Masculinity in Academia", Denzin, N.K., Salvo, J. and Chen, S.-L.S. (Ed.) Radical Interactionism and Critiques of Contemporary Culture (Studies in Symbolic Interaction, Vol. 52), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 95-114. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0163-239620210000052007

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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