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Masculinities in Bangladesh: 'Sofol Purush' as Hegemonic Masculinity Model at the State Level  

Sayed Saikh Imtiaz

The emergence and reproduction of hegemonic masculinities in state-level institutional practices in a developing country like Bangladesh are still underresearched. Since its independence Bangladesh has gone through different periods of political turmoil leading to several autocratic regimes. After the fall of General Ershad in 1990, the country started a renewed journey to democracy and electoral politics. Over the years, the corrupt political processes interacting with modernization and different nationalist projects have resulted in a patron-client system that resulted in a new gender order. This gender order celebrates the creation of the sofol purush model as a symbol of power and status and thus constitutes hegemonic masculinity. Although this hegemonic masculinity model does not correspond to any particular man, it could sustain itself by dominating the ideas and fantasies of young men across classes in general. The discursive construction of the sofol purush model and corresponding institutional mechanisms to embody such a model refer to a situation in which young men, in general, find a place for them to be a sofol purush, although in reality, only a very few of them could achieve the attributes. Nevertheless, as most young men endorse the model in one way or another, sofol purush as a hegemonic masculinity model is reproduced and sustained.