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Marginalized Masculinity and an Aspect of the Crack of Patriarchy

  • The Research of the Korean Classic
  • 2021, (52), pp.173-202
  • DOI : 10.20516/classic.2021.52.173
  • Publisher : The Research Of The Korean Classic
  • Research Area : Humanities > Korean Language and Literature > Korean Literature > Korean classic prose
  • Received : January 26, 2021
  • Accepted : February 9, 2021
  • Published : February 28, 2021

Jung Inhyouk 1

1가톨릭관동대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to examine the masculinity of Kim An-guk, the main character who is excluded from the traditional male image of the patriarchal system, and the socio-cultural meaning of “Kim An-guk” in “Dong-sang Gi-chan.” Through this study, I intended to reflect on the limitations of dichotomous thinking that distinguishes “normal” from “unnormal” through the so-called social standards. First, I looked at the aspect of Kim An-guk’s marginalized masculinity and the aspect of exclusion by hegemonic masculinity. Second, I examined the relationship between Kim An-guk and his wife Lee, who were excluded by hegemonic masculinity. The way Kim An-guk’s wife, Lee, drew his ability was somewhat unconventional in the traditional patriarchal standards. Behind that unconventional method was a solidarity based on mutual understanding between the marginalized masculinity and the femininity that was subordinated to the other, following the existing orderly system of patriarchal society. The way Kim An-guk succeeds in “Kim An-guk” and the changes in the perception of the others reveal the cracks in the values that hegemonic masculinity pursued. Kim An-guk, who will lead a family and further a patriarchal society as a patriarch, demonstrates his abilities in a completely different way from what had been thought to be an absolute method so far. In terms of hegemonic masculinity, the existing order system begins to crack in that Kim An-guk, who used a so-called “unnormal” method that did not conform to tradition, is qualified to lead a family and society as a patriarch. At a glance, the patriarchal order seems to be maintained solidly because it met the standards presented by the traditional patriarchal society. However, it acknowledges the limitations of the traditional patriarchal order, which had been dominated by hegemonic masculinity, which had been solidified by acknowledging ways that have not been done before and heterogeneous methods led by femininities. Now, there is no ‘normal’ method to define one absolute hegemonic masculinity and its hegemonic masculinity. “Kim An-guk” shows the mismatch between the ideal and reality that traditional masculinity aims for. Changes in the perception of marginalized masculinity will promote a new perception of the existing order that has kept the social system solid. It turns out that the existing traditional patriarchal order and the rules and methods for constructing it are, in fact, nothing but fiction. Masculinity faces the change.

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