Making a New Man
Making a New Man
Recognition, Romance, Sex, and Neoliberal Masculinity
In stark contrast with their fathers, the young men whose narratives make up this chapter long for identities based on self-expansion and personal enrichment. Mirroring Turkish society's pivot away from state-based paternalism, these young men see themselves as embarking on projects of "entrepreneurship of the self" where old ideals of paternal selflessness are replaced by new ideals of individualism, ambition, and pleasure seeking. As these men reject the traditional modes of masculinity modeled by their fathers, they explicitly seek new types of affective relationships with "selfish" women who break from the traditional models of female selflessness. Yet even as these men seek recognition and support for their own self-making from women who are equally ambitious and independent, they cannot completely repudiate the maternal model, longing at the same time for "positive," "selfless" girls who subordinate their desires to the needs of the relationship. The tension of this paradox is felt most acutely by men from conservative and rural family backgrounds whose new identities as upwardly mobile high-achievers necessitate recognition from equally high-achieving women, but who are unable or unwilling to completely relinquish their need for male dominance and control in order to make such relationships successful.
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