How Machismo Got Its Spurs--in English: Social Science, Cold War Imperialism, and the Ethnicization of Hypermasculinity

TitleHow Machismo Got Its Spurs--in English: Social Science, Cold War Imperialism, and the Ethnicization of Hypermasculinity
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsCowan, Benjamin Arthur
JournalLatin American Research Review
Volume52
Issue4
Pagination606-622
Date Published2017
Abstract

This article seeks to shift the framework of decades-long debates on the nature and significance of machismo, debunking the commonly held notion that the word describes a primordial Iberian and Ibero-American phenomenon. I trace the emergence of machismo as an English-language term, arguing that a tradition of unself-consciously ethnocentric scholarship in the 1940s and 1950s enabled the word's entrance, by the 1960s, into popular sources. In fact, machismo was rather a neologism in Spanish, but midcentury US scholarship presumed the category's empirical validity and applied to it to perceived problems in the "Latin" world. Much of machismo's linguistic purchase-the reason it has become a global shorthand for hypermasculinity-stemmed from mid to late twentieth-century anxieties about hemispheric security, the Cold War, immigration, and overpopulation, particularly vis-à-vis the United State's near neighbors, Mexico and Puerto Rico. I have sought out the word's earliest appearances in various English-language media (books, scholarly articles, newspapers, magazines, and television) and explained how it has long escaped scrutiny as a construct in and of itself. As a result, machismo has resisted the most earnest and well-intentioned of challenges to its scholarly primacy and remains a pathologizing point of departure in approaches to Latin American gender systems. [AUTHOR]

URLhttps://auth.lib.unc.edu/ezproxy_auth.php?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=hia&AN=126481777&site=ehost-live&scope=site
Short TitleLatin American Research Review
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