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Scripps College

Publication Date

Spring 2013

Program Name

India: Sustainable Development and Social Change


Indian society has traditionally adhered to very strict gender roles and norms that dictate the appropriate behaviors and attitudes of men and women in the private and public sphere. In the advent of a rapid urbanization and globalization, these rigid notions of appropriate masculine and feminine behaviors are changing in large metropolitan cities of India. This study explores the attitudes of young Indian male professionals regarding masculinity and masculine gendered norms in Bangalore, the epitome of metropolitan and modern India. Being a man is hinged to the notion of being the head of the family, and the appropriate traits to fulfill this role are being independent, being in control of one’s emotions and being able to solve a problem without seeking help from others. When it comes to successful and career-oriented women, there is an intellectual acceptance of women’s advancement but a lack of emotional acceptance among men; men are still resistant to having partners who earn more or are more successful than them. Patriarchal norms that stem from this notion of the man being the head of the family still dictate the expectations in marriage to be male-centric and male focused. This study calls for a redefinition of the ‘head of the family’ as a rigidly masculine ideal, so as to be more inclusive of the other half of gender.


Other Languages, Societies, and Cultures | Social and Cultural Anthropology


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