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ABSTRACT. Parenting and working are central to constructions of adulthood in Australia, although the value attached to different qualities, characteristics and practices of parenting and working vary for women and men. This theoretical paper firstly explores and integrates existing theories of gender hegemony into a multidimensional, multilevel, relational and intersectional perspective for exploring internal and external relations within and between hierarchical configurations of femininities and masculinities. It then explores existing multidimensional evidence on Australian regional-level hierarchies of femininities and masculinities based on parenting and employment, focusing on patriarchal-capitalist power relations, but including examples of other intersections. The extant research suggests hegemonic femininities are configured around intensive mothering and part-time working, hegemonic masculinities are configured around breadwinning and involved fathering, and nuanced non-hegemonic femininities and masculinities are configured around complicit, compliant, non-compliant, pariah, precluded and marginalised qualities, characteristics and practices, depending upon the nature and degree of non-conformance to hegemonic configurations and the challenges they present to capitalist-patriarchal power relations, in the context of intersections with other power relations.

Keywords: pronatalism; capitalism; hegemony; femininities; masculinities; Australia

How to cite: Turnbull, Beth, Melissa Graham, and Ann Taket (2020). “Hierarchical Femininities and Masculinities in Australia Based on Parenting and Employment: A Multidimensional, Multilevel, Relational and Intersectional Perspective,” Journal of Research in Gender Studies 10(2): 9–62. doi:10.22381/JRGS10220201

Received 1 May 2019 • Received in revised form 17 April 2020
Accepted 18 April 2020 • Available online 10 May 2020

Beth Turnbull
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School of Psychology and Public Health,
Department of Public Health,
La Trobe University,
Bundoora, Victoria, Australia
(corresponding author)
Melissa Graham
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School of Psychology and Public Health,
Department of Public Health,
La Trobe University,
Bundoora, Victoria, Australia
Ann Taket
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Honorary Professor,
School of Health and Social Development,
Faculty of Health,
Deakin University,
Burwood, Victoria, Australia

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