Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Stadt- und Regionalsoziologie

Prof. Jordanna Matlon at the Think and Drink Colloquium

Prof. Jordanna Matlon, American University, Washington D.C. Racial Capitalism and the Crisis of Black Masculinity Urban and Regional Sociology Think and Drink
  • Wann 04.07.2016 von 18:00 bis 20:00 (Europe/Berlin / UTC200)
  • Wo Raum 002: Universitätsstr. 3b, 10117 Berlin
  • Termin zum Kalender hinzufügen iCal

 

Prof. Jordanna Matlon, American University, Washington D.C.

Racial Capitalism and the Crisis of Black Masculinity

Drawing on one year of participant observation fieldwork and interviews with men from Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire's informal sector from 2008 to 2009, I explore how unmarriageable men in urban Africa assert masculine identities in response to a failed work regime. I examine two groups of men: political propagandists (orators) for former President Laurent Gbagbo and mobile street vendors. Rejecting racialized colonial narratives that positioned salaried workers as "evolved," orators used anti-French rhetoric and ties to the political regime to pursue entrepreneurial identities. Vendors, positioned as illegitimate workers and non-citizens, asserted consumerist models of masculinity from global black popular culture. Entrepreneurialism and consumerism, the two paradigmatic neoliberal identities, became ways for these men to assert economic participation as alternatives to the producer-provider ideal. I employ "complicit masculinity" to examine how a relationship to capitalism mediates masculine identity for underemployed black men. Arguing that hegemony operates around producer-provider norms of masculinity and through tropes of blackness within a system of racial capitalism, I show how complicity underscores the reality of differential aspirational models for blacks in the context of severe un- and underemployment and the failure of the classic breadwinner model for black men globally.