Original Research - Special Collection: Practical Theology

The violence of the masculine ideal: A case for nomadic masculinities

Siphiwe I. Dube
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 74, No 2 | a4935 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v74i2.4935 | © 2018 Siphiwe Ignatius Dube | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 February 2018 | Published: 13 September 2018

About the author(s)

Siphiwe I. Dube, Department of Political Studies, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa


In this article, I argue that a different kind of discourse on Christian masculinities in post-apartheid South Africa is possible despite the prevalence of largely idealised and politically conservative ideologies of masculinities promoted primarily through the public and private performance of violent masculinities. Drawing on a redacted critique of current prevalent discourses of transformation in critical masculinities studies such as alternatives masculinities, hegemonic masculinities, liberated masculinities and toxic masculinities, I underscore how these discourses are limited in their thinking on masculinities in general as they presume the ideal of what a liberated man should be like. Specifically, I argue that idealised masculine ideals, even in their liberatory forms, eschew mobility and fluidity and, therefore, end up restricting the possibility for transformative action. I propose, instead, that we reinscribe discourses of Christian masculinities with the notion of nomadic subjectivity, espoused by Rosi Braidotti, as a form of transpositional praxis of being in order to expand our linguistic repertoire of transformative masculinities. Such a shift in focus, as I demonstrate, has the propensity to aid us in constructing and implementing creative and imaginative programmes of engaging men in rethinking scripts of masculinities.


Braidotti; Critical Masculinities; IMBADU; Masculinities; Mighty Men Conference; Nomadic Masculinities; Nomadic Subjectivity; Transformation


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