The exploration of Africa and the construction of imperial masculinity
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] This thesis argues that an imperial masculinity emerged in the late nineteenth century as a response to a growing women's rights movement. The roots of this process are in the 1850s and 1860s as legal changes began conceding rights to women and the State began intervening within the home and intimate relationships, and also in the adventures and risk taking of the explorers. By the 1880s the domestic space was becoming troubled and redefined --the State was taking on the role of head of household, the arbiter of power, effectively curtailing traditional patriarchal male privileges. A resulting crisis in masculinity stemming from the idea that men schooled to a domestic masculinity that is anchored in the politics of the liberal state and the dependency of women, realized that they could not reach manliness through domestic means. The changing nature of the relationship between men, the State, and the family, created individual and collective crises in masculinity. In response, a new model of man, forged on the frontiers of Empire, and based upon the virtues as espoused in the writings of explorers, emerged. The explorers of Africa are at the heart of this imperial masculinity, taking hold of the British imagination through adventure fiction based upon the Empire and the explorers. The roots of a martial and nationalistic masculinity are explored in this thesis, lending a background and understanding to works on masculinity in the First World War, and the connection between sports, the battlefield, and nationalism, as analyzed by notable historians such as J.A. Mangan.
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