publication
Picto Article

Preachers, pirates and peace-building examining non-violent hegemonic masculinities in Aceh

2018

With respect to research on violent conflict, violent masculinities and masculinities linked to military or military-style organizations have received considerable attention. Such forms of violent masculinity are often seen as hegemonic. Based on our research in Aceh, Indonesia, we suggest that the conflation of hegemonic forms of masculinity with militarization and violence overlooks the many ways in which civilian men use political mechanisms of hegemonic masculinity to create consent while remaining explicitly non-violent and thus contribute to non-violent ways of managing conflict. Drawing on vignettes of Acehnese men's experiences, we identify three strategies of conflict prevention and management to achieve relative hegemony in non-violent ways: strategic appeasement, creating safe spaces and transforming militarized masculinities. The ways in which these men participate in peace-building contribute to reducing violence, yet do not necessarily challenge hegemonic masculinities. Our case study of conflict-related masculinities in Aceh paints a nuanced picture of what comes to be seen as hegemonic in a given society at a given point in time and what can be contested. We demonstrate the importance of understanding conflict management through an approach that includes non-violent forms of masculinities and focuses on hegemonic masculinity as a political mechanism of consent creation.